NATO - North Atlantic Treaty Organization

  • Active Endeavour, Operation
    Operation Active Endeavour Under Operation Active Endeavour, NATO ships are patrolling the Mediterranean and monitoring shipping to help deter, defend, disrupt and protect against terrorist activity. The operation evolved out of NATO’s immediate response to the terrorist attacks against the United States of 11 September 2001 and, in view of its success, is being continued. As the Alliance has refined its counter-terrorism role in the intervening years, the operation’s mandate has been regularly reviewed and its remit extended. The experience that NATO has accrued in Active Endeavour has given the Alliance unparalleled expertise in the deterrence of maritime terrorist activity in the Mediterranean Sea. This expertise is relevant to wider international efforts to combat terrorism and, in particular, the proliferation and smuggling of weapons of mass destruction, as well as enhanced cooperation with non-NATO countries and civilian agencies. The aim of the operation and its current functions Operation Active Endeavour is NATO’s only Article 5 operation on anti-terrorism. It was initiated in support of the United States immediately after 9/11. It therefore aims to demonstrate NATO's solidarity and resolve in the fight against terrorism and to help deter and disrupt terrorist activity in the Mediterranean. NATO forces have hailed over 115 000 merchant vessels and boarded some 162 suspect ships. By conducting these maritime operations against terrorist activity, NATO’s presence in these waters has benefited all shipping traveling through the Straits of Gibraltar by improving perceptions of security. NATO is helping to keep seas safe, protect shipping and control suspect vessels. Moreover, this operation is also enabling NATO to strengthen its relations with partner countries, especially those participating in the Alliance’s Mediterranean Dialogue. Keeping seas safe and protecting shipping Keeping the Mediterranean’s busy trade routes open and safe is critical to NATO’s security. In terms of energy alone, some 65 per cent of the oil and natural gas consumed in western Europe pass through the Mediterranean each year, with major pipelines connecting Libya to Italy and Morocco to Spain. For this reason, NATO ships are systematically carrying out preparatory route surveys in “choke” points as well as in important passages and harbours throughout the Mediterranean. Tracking and controlling suspect vessels Since April 2003, NATO has been systematically boarding suspect ships. These boardings take place with the compliance of the ships’ masters and flag states in accordance with international law. What happens in practice is that merchant ships passing through the eastern Mediterranean are hailed by patrolling NATO naval units and asked to identify themselves and their activity. This information is then reported to NATO’s Maritime Commander in Northwood, the United Kingdom. If any­thing appears unusual or suspicious, teams of between 15 and 20 of the ships’ crew may board vessels to inspect documen­tation and cargo. Compliant boarding can only be conducted with the consent of the flag state and/or the ship’s master. NATO personnel may otherwise convey this information to the appropriate law enforcement agency at the vessel’s next port of call. The suspect vessel is then shadowed until action is taken by a responsible agency/authority, or until it enters a country’s territorial waters. Unexpected benefits While the mandate of Active Endeavour is limited to deterring, defending, disrupting and protecting against terrorist-related activity, the operation has had a visible effect on security and stability in the Mediterranean that is beneficial to trade and economic activity. NATO ships and helicopters have also intervened on several occasions to rescue civilians on stricken oil rigs and sinking ships. This includes helping 84 workers to evacuate an oil rig in high winds and heavy seas in December 2001 and winching women and children off a sinking ship carrying some 250 refugees in January 2002 as well as helping to repair the damaged hull. Operation Active Endeavour provided the framework for the maritime component of NATO’s assistance to the Greek government to ensure the safe conduct of the 2004 Olympic and Paralympic Games in August and September 2004. Task Force Endeavour conducted surveillance, presence and compliant boarding operations in international waters around the Greek peninsula with Standing Naval Forces surface ships, supported by maritime patrol aircraft and submarines and in coordination with the Hellenic Navy and Coast Guard. Closer cooperation with partners The increased NATO presence in the Mediterranean has also enhanced the Alliance’s security cooperation programme with seven countries in the wider Mediterranean region – Algeria, Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Mauritania, Morocco and Tunisia. This programme - the Mediterranean Dialogue - was set up in 1995 to contribute to regional security and stability and to achieve better mutual understanding between NATO and its Mediterranean Partners. Mediterranean Dialogue countries are equally concerned by the threat of terrorism and have already been cooperating with NATO in Active Endeavour by providing intelligence about suspicious shipping operating in their waters. Enhanced coordination and cooperation mechanisms are currently being developed. Command and structure of the operation The operation is under the overall command of, and is conducted from, Maritime Command Headquarters, Northwood (United Kingdom) through a task force deployed in the Mediterranean. Task Force Endeavour consists of a balanced collection of surface units, submarines and maritime patrol aircraft. The operation also regularly makes use of NATO’s two high-readiness frigate forces, which are permanently ready to act and capable of conducting a wide range of maritime operations. The current operational pattern uses surface forces as reaction units to conduct specific tasks such as locating, tracking, reporting and boarding of suspected vessels in the light of intelligence. The NATO Standing Naval Forces rotate in providing periodic support to Operation Active Endeavour either through “surges” (when an entire force participates) or through individual units being put on call when the operation has no regularly assigned forces. Evolution An Article 5 deployment The deployment was one of eight measures taken by NATO to support the United States in the wake of the terrorist attacks of 11 September 2001, following the invocation of Article 5, NATO’s collective defence clause, for the first time in the Alliance’s history. The deployment started on 6 October and was formally named Operation Active Endeavour on 26 October 2001. Together with the dispatch of Airborne Warning and Control System (AWACS) aircraft to the United States, it was the first time that NATO assets had been deployed in support of an Article 5 operation. Since October 2001, NATO ships have been patrolling the Mediterranean and monitoring shipping, boarding any suspect ships. Compliant boarding operations are essential to the successful continuation of the operation. They are limited to trying to establish whether a vessel is engaged in terrorist activity. Moreover, in March 2003, Active Endeavour was expanded to include providing escorts through the Straits of Gibraltar to non-military ships from Alliance member states requesting them. This extension of the mission was designed to help prevent terrorist attacks such as those off Yemen on the USS Cole in October 2000 and on the French oil tanker Limburg two years later. The area was considered particularly vulnerable because the Straits are extremely narrow and some 3000 commercial shipments pass through daily. In total, 488 ships took advantage of NATO escorts until Task Force STROG (Straits of Gibraltar) was suspended in May 2004. Forces remain ready to move at 30-days notice. Covering the entire Mediterranean One year later, in March 2004, as a result of the success of Active Endeavour in the Eastern Mediterranean, NATO extended its remit to the whole of the Mediterranean. At the June 2004 Istanbul Summit, Allied leaders decided to enhance Operation Active Endeavour (OAE). They also welcomed offers by Russia and Ukraine to support the operation. An evolving operation In the revised Concept of Operations approved by the North Atlantic Council on 23 April 2009, the Military Committee highlighted two considerations: the need to further enhance information-sharing between NATO and other actors in the region; the fact that in some cases, the operation is hampered by the lack of consent to conduct compliant boarding of suspect vessels. In addition, the Operational Plan approved in January 2010, is shifting Operation Active Endeavour from a platform-based to a network-based operation, using a combination of on-call units and surge operations instead of deployed forces; it is also seeking to enhance cooperation with non-NATO countries and international organisations in order to improve Maritime Situational Awareness. In February 2013, as a result of the reform of the military command structure initiated in 2011, the operation changed command. Initially, OAE was under the overall command of Joint Forces Command (JFC), Naples, and was conducted from the Allied Maritime Component Command Naples, Italy (CC-Mar Naples). From 22 February 2013, it came under the command of, and is conducted by, Maritime Command Headquarters, Northwood (United Kingdom). Contributing countries Being an Article 5 operation, Operation Active Endeavour initially involved member countries only. Some NATO members, mainly Greece, Italy, Spain and Turkey, contribute directly to the operation with naval assets. Escort operations in the Straits of Gibraltar used to involve the use of fast patrol boats from northern European Allies Denmark, Germany and Norway. Spain also provides additional assets in the Straits. Operation Active Endeavour relies heavily on the logistic support of Mediterranean NATO Allies. From 2004, partner and non-NATO countries started offering their support. All offers are considered on a case-by-case basis. To date, Exchanges of Letters have been signed between NATO and Israel, Morocco, Russia and Ukraine. In addition, Finland and Sweden have informally expressed their interest in contributing to the operation. Georgia has sent a liaison officer to Naples following the signing of a tactical Memorandum of Understanding with NATO in 2010 on the exchange of information. Russia deployed vessels twice, in 2006 and 2007, and Ukraine a total of five times since 2007.
  • Afghanistan, ISAF's Mission in -
    ISAF's Mission in Afghanistan NATO’s primary objective in Afghanistan is to enable the Afghan government to provide effective security across the country and develop new Afghan security forces to ensure Afghanistan can never again become a safe haven for terrorists. The 48 nations which make up the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) are supporting the Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF) in the conduct of security operations throughout the country. Since 2011, responsibility for security has gradually been transitioned to the Afghans and ISAF’s mission has shifted from a combat-centric role to a more enabling role focusing on training, advising and assisting. The launch of the final stage of the transition process in June 2013 means that Afghan forces are taking the lead for security across the whole country. ISAF’s priorities In support of the Afghan government, ISAF is helping the ANSF to reduce the capability and the will of the insurgency as well as promoting the growth in capacity and capability of the ANSF. ISAF is also helping to create the space and lay the foundations for improvements in governance and socio-economic development to provide a secure environment for sustainable stability. ISAF provides support to the government and international community in security sector reform, including mentoring, training and operational support to the Afghan National Army (ANA) and the Afghan National Police (ANP). The aim is to build professional, independent and sustainable ANA and ANP forces that are able to provide security and law enforcement to the Afghan people throughout the country. This work is carried out jointly by the NATO Training Mission-Afghanistan (NTM-A) and ISAF’s Joint Command (IJC), together with the European Police Mission in Afghanistan (EUPOL) and other important national actors. NTM-A focuses on training initial recruits and building the institutional training capability of the ANSF, while the IJC is responsible for developing fielded ANSF units through advice and assistance. ISAF has also contributed to reconstruction and development in Afghanistan through multinational Provincial Reconstruction Teams (PRTs) - led by individual ISAF nations - securing areas in which reconstruction work is conducted by national and international actors. Where appropriate – and in close coordination and cooperation with the Afghan government and the United Nations Assistance Mission Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) – ISAF has provided practical support for reconstruction and development efforts as well as support for humanitarian assistance efforts conducted by other actors. Through the PRTs, ISAF has also helped the Afghan authorities strengthen the institutions required to fully establish good governance and the rule of law as well as to promote human rights. The principal role of the PRTs in this respect is to build capacity, support the growth of governance structures and promote an environment in which governance can improve. By the time transition to Afghan lead for security is completed at the end of 2014, all PRTs will have been phased out and their functions handed over to the Afghan government, traditional development actors, non-governmental organisations and the private sector. ISAF Mission Evolution Transition to Afghan lead for security started in July 2011 and is well underway. The ANSF are growing stronger and more capable. As a result, ISAF’s role has changed from leading operations to enabling the Afghan security forces to conduct independent operations themselves. This means that ISAF’s mission has evolved from one focused primarily on combat to an enabling Security Force Assistance (SFA) role, which centres on training, advising and assisting its Afghan partners. The aim of this evolution is to ensure that ISAF continues to support the development of ANSF operational effectiveness, so that they are able to fully assume their security responsibilities by the completion of the transition to full Afghan security responsibility at the end of 2014. As ANSF progress towards that goal, the ISAF forces are gradually stepping back and starting to redeploy back to their home countries. This drawdown is taking place in a coordinated, measured and gradual way in line with the ANSF’s capacity to manage the security situation. An important milestone was reached on 18 June 2013, when the fifth and last tranche of transition areas was announced by the Afghan government. With that, the ANSF will take the lead for security across the country and ISAF will complete its shift from a combat to a support role. This is a critical step in the transition towards full Afghan security responsibility by end 2014, which was agreed with the Afghan government at the NATO Summit in Lisbon in 2010 and reaffirmed at the NATO Summit in Chicago in 2012. (More on ISAF mission evolution) ISAF’s mission in Afghanistan will cease at the end of 2014. However, as agreed by Allied leaders and their ISAF partners with the Afghan government at the Chicago Summit in May 2012, NATO will lead a new mission to continue training, advising and assisting the Afghan national security forces after 2014. The post-2014 mission will be called “Resolute Support” and will not be a combat mission. It will be smaller in size and will focus on national and institutional-level training and the higher levels of army and police commands across Afghanistan. ISAF's mandate The International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) has been deployed since 2001 under the authority of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC), which authorised the establishment of the force to assist the Afghan government in the maintenance of security in Kabul and its surrounding areas – in particular to enable the Afghan authorities as well as UN personnel to operate in a secure environment. At that time, the operation was limited to the Kabul area, and its command was assumed by ISAF nations on a rotational basis. In August 2003, upon request of the UN and the Government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, NATO took command of ISAF. Soon after, the UN mandated ISAF’s gradual expansion outside of Kabul. While not technically a UN force, ISAF is a UN-mandated international force under Chapter VII of the UN Charter. Fifteen UN Security Council Resolutions relate to ISAF, namely: 1386, 1413, 1444, 1510, 1563, 1623, 1707, 1776, 1817, 1833, 1890, 1917, 1943, 2011 and 2069. A detailed Military Technical Agreement agreed between the ISAF Commander and the Afghan Transitional Authority in January 2002 provides additional guidance for ISAF operations. History of ISAF Origin of ISAF ISAF was created in accordance with the Bonn Conference in December 2001. Afghan opposition leaders attending the conference began the process of reconstructing their country by setting up a new government structure, namely the Afghan Transitional Authority. The concept of a UN-mandated international force to assist the newly established Afghan Transitional Authority was also launched  this occasion to create a secure environment in and around Kabul and support the reconstruction of Afghanistan. These agreements paved the way for the creation of a three-way partnership between the Afghan Transitional Authority, the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) and ISAF. NATO takes on ISAF command On 11 August 2003, NATO assumed leadership of the ISAF operation, bringing the six-month national rotations to an end. The Alliance became responsible for the command, coordination and planning of the force, including the provision of a force commander and headquarters on the ground in Afghanistan. This new leadership overcame the problem of a continual search to find new nations to lead the mission and the difficulties of setting up a new headquarters every six months in a complex environment. A continuing NATO Headquarters also enables small countries, less able to take over leadership responsibility, to play a strong role within a multinational headquarters. Expansion of ISAF’s presence in Afghanistan ISAF’s mandate was initially limited to providing security in and around Kabul. In October 2003, the United Nations extended ISAF’s mandate to cover the whole of Afghanistan  ( UNSCR 1510 ), paving the way for an expansion of the mission across the country. Stage 1: to the north In December 2003, the North Atlantic Council authorised the then Supreme Allied Commander Europe, General James Jones, to initiate the expansion of ISAF by taking over command of the German-led Provincial Reconstruction Team (PRT) in Kunduz. The other eight PRTs operating in Afghanistan in 2003 remained under the command of Operation Enduring Freedom, the continuing US-led military operation in Afghanistan. On 31 December 2003, the military component of the Kunduz PRT was placed under ISAF command as a pilot project and first step in the expansion of the mission. Six months later, on 28 June 2004, at the Summit meeting of the NATO Heads of State and Government in Istanbul, NATO announced that it would establish four other Provincial Reconstruction Teams in the north of the country: in Mazar-e-Sharif, Meymanah, Feyzabad and Baghlan. This process was completed on 1 October 2004, marking the completion of the first phase of ISAF’s expansion. ISAF’s area of operations then covered some 3,600 square kilometres in the north and the mission was able to influence security in nine northern provinces of the country. Stage 2: to the west On 10 February 2005, NATO announced that ISAF would be further expanded, into the west of Afghanistan. This process began on 31 May 2006, when ISAF took on command of two additional PRTs, in the provinces of Herat and Farah and of a Forward Support Base (a logistic base) in Herat. At the beginning of September, two further ISAF-led PRTs in the west became operational, one in Chaghcharan, capital of Ghor Province, and one in Qala-e-Naw, capital of Badghis province, completing ISAF’s expansion into the west. The extended ISAF mission led a total of nine PRTs, in the north and the west, providing security assistance in 50% of Afghanistan’s territory. The Alliance continued to make preparations to further expand ISAF, to the south of the country. In September 2005, the Alliance also temporarily deployed 2,000 additional troops to Afghanistan to support the 18 September provincial and parliamentary elections. Stage 3: to the south On 8 December 2005, meeting at NATO Headquarters in Brussels, the Allied Foreign Ministers endorsed a plan that paved the way for an expanded ISAF role and presence in Afghanistan. The first element of this plan was the expansion of ISAF to the south in 2006, also known as Stage 3. This was implemented on 31 July 2006, when ISAF assumed command of the southern region of Afghanistan from US-led Coalition forces, expanding its area of operations to cover an additional six provinces – Daikundi, Helmand, Kandahar, Nimroz, Uruzgan and Zabul – and taking on command of four additional PRTs. The expanded ISAF led a total of 13 PRTs in the north, west and south, covering some three-quarters of Afghanistan’s territory. The number of ISAF forces in the country also increased significantly, from about 10,000 prior to the expansion to about 20,000 after. Stage 4: ISAF expands to the east, takes responsibility for entire country On 5 October 2006, ISAF implemented the final stage of its expansion, by taking on command of the international military forces in eastern Afghanistan from the US-led Coalition. In addition to expanding the Alliance’s area of operations, the revised operational plan also paved the way for a greater ISAF role in the country. This includes the deployment of ISAF training and mentoring teams to Afghan National Army units at various levels of command.
  • Afghanistan, NATO's Senior Civilian Representative in -
    NATO's Senior Civilian Representative in Afghanistan The Senior Civilian Representative carries forward the Alliance's political-military objectives in Afghanistan, liaising with the Afghan Government, civil society, representatives of the international community and neighbouring countries. He represents the political leadership of the Alliance in Kabul officially and publicly. Who is currently holding this function? Ambassador Maurits R. Jochems from the Netherlands took office as the NATO Senior Civilian Representative in Afghanistan on 10 October 2012. What is his or her authority, tasks and responsibilities? Working closely with NATO’s International Security Assistance Force (ISAF), the Senior Civilian Representative provides a direct channel of communication between the theatre, NATO HQ in Brussels, and the North Atlantic Council, the Alliance's principal decision-making body.  He provides the Council with advice on the most effective means of ensuring the overall coherence of the Alliance’s relations with Afghanistan, which includes responsibilities related to upholding NATO’s public perception. He liaises with senior members of the Afghan Government and co-ordinates with representatives of the international community and other international organisations engaged in Afghanistan, in particular the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan and the European Union. The Representative also maintains contacts with representatives of neighbouring countries, as well as with various political actors, representatives of Afghan civil society and representatives of international NGOs. How is he or she selected and for how long? The Representative is appointed by the NATO Secretary General on an ad-hoc basis.  His mandate is limited in time and renewable in light of political developments in Afghanistan. How did it evolve? NATO created the position of a Senior Civilian Representative in October 2003, to represent the political leadership of the Alliance in Kabul.
  • Afghanistan and NATO
    NATO and Afghanistan
  • African Standby Force, Contributing to the establishment of an -
    Contributing to the establishment of an African Standby Force Fore more information on go to NATO's assistance to the African Union Information on NATO assistance to the African Union can be found on: http://www.nato.int/cps/en/natolive/topics_8191.htm
  • African Union (AU), NATO assistance to the -
    NATO assistance to the African Union Since 2005, at the request of the African Union (AU), NATO has been providing different forms of support to the AU. The AU is a regional organisation which brings together 54 African member states. It was established in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia in 2002 and requested NATO support as early as 2005 for the AU Mission in Sudan (AMIS) in the province of Darfur. This was the Alliance’s first mission on the African continent and as such represented a landmark decision by the North Atlantic Council (NAC). It was terminated on 31 December 2007 when AMIS was completed and succeeded (on 1 January 2008) by the UN-AU hybrid mission in Darfur (UNAMID). NATO has since been assisting the AU with other missions and objectives. These include support to the AU Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) by providing planning and strategic air- and sea-lift, and assistance to the AU in developing long-term peacekeeping capabilities, in particular the African Standby Force (ASF) brigades. To ensure maximum synergy, effectiveness and transparency, NATO's assistance is coordinated closely with other international organisations – principally the United Nations (UN) and the European Union (EU) – as well as with bilateral partners. Through this increased assistance, the Alliance and the AU are developing a "very positive” relationship, according to the Head of the Peace Support Operations Division (PSOD) of the AU, Mr. Sivuyile Thandikhaya Bam, on a visit to NATO HQ, February 2010. “We see this [cooperation] more as long term and would like to continue as such.” This has been confirmed by the repeated AU requests for NATO assistance, which has resulted in an expanded AU-NATO collaboration. Assisting the AU in Somalia Since 2007, NATO has accepted to assist the AU mission in Somalia (AMISOM) by providing strategic airlift and sealift support to AU member states willing to deploy in Somalia under AMISOM. NATO has, for instance, put into practice airlift support from Burundi to Mogadishu and has escorted an AU ship that carried Burundian military equipment for one of the battalions that it had airlifted into Mogadishu. NATO has also been providing subject matter experts for the Peace Support Operations Division (PSOD) of the AU that supports AMISOM. These experts offer expertise in specific areas for a period of six months, renewable at the AU’s request. In addition to this logistical and planning support, NATO is also a member of the International Contact Group on Somalia. Strategic airlift The AU made a general request to all partners, including NATO, on 17 January 2007 for financial and logistical support to AMISOM. It later made a more specific request to NATO on 22 May 2007, requesting strategic airlift support for AU member states willing to deploy in Somalia under AMISOM. On 7 June, the North Atlantic Council (NAC) agreed, in principle, to support this request. NATO’s support was initially authorised until 21 August 2007 and has since been renewed for periods of six months and, more recently, for one year, following AU requests. The latest to be agreed by the North Atlantic Council runs until January 2015. Strategic sealift Strategic sealift support was requested at a later stage and agreed in principle by the NAC on 15 September 2009. Support is also authorised for set periods of time and is currently running until January 2014. Subject matter experts NATO provides subject matter experts for the AU PSOD that supports AMISOM. These experts share their knowledge in areas such as maritime planning, strategic planning, financial planning and monitoring, procurement planning, air movement coordination, communications, IT, logistics, human resources, military manpower management and contingency planning. There is currently authorisation for three experts based in Addis Ababa for a period of six months, renewable at the AU’s request. Training NATO has been offering AU students the possibility of attending courses at the NATO School Oberammergau in areas such as crisis management exercises. Other appropriate training facilities are being identified, based on AU requirements. Working with other international organisations In addition to logistical and planning support, NATO is also a member of the International Contact Group on Somalia. It was first invited to attend these meetings in June 2009 and has participated in subsequent meetings. The bodies involved in decision-making and implementation Based on advice from NATO’s military authorities, the NAC is the body that agrees to provide support to the AU. The Norwegian Embassy in Addis Ababa provides diplomatic resources in support of NATO’s activities in Africa. Requests are communicated via “Note Verbale” from the AU to the Norwegian Embassy, then via Joint Force Command (JFC), Naples and SHAPE to NATO HQ to consider the requests and take action as necessary. AU requests are considered on a case-by-case basis. The NATO Senior Military Liaison Officer (SMLO) is the primary point of contact for the Alliance’s activities with the AU. An SMLO is deployed on a permanent six-month rotational basis in Addis Ababa and is supported by a deputy and an administrative assistant. More specifically, with regard to NATO’s support to the AU mission in Somalia, JFC Naples – under the overall command of Allied Command Operations - is responsible for the SMLO team operating out of the Ethiopian capital. This team not only conducts NATO’s day-to-day activities, but also serves as the NATO military point of contact with partner countries and regional organisations. It served the same function for the representatives of troop-contributing countries for the AMISON operation, the representatives of the donor nations pledging support to the AU, the UN, the EU and various embassies.  Contributing to the establishment of an African Standby Force NATO has been providing expert and training support to the African Standby Force (ASF) at the AU’s request. The ASF is intended to be deployed in Africa in times of crisis. It is part of the AU’s efforts to develop long-term peacekeeping capabilities. ASF represents the AU’s vision for a continental, on-call security apparatus with some similarities to the NATO Response Force. The Alliance offers capacity-building support through courses and training events and organises different forms of support to help make the ASF operational, all at the AU’s request. NATO is, inter alia , assisting the AU with the evaluation and assessment processes linked to the operational readiness of the ASF brigades. This continental force is expected to reach full operational capability by 2015 and could be seen as an African contribution to wider international efforts to preserve peace and security. Expert support On 5 September 2007, as part of NATO’s capacity-building support to the AU, the NAC agreed to provide assistance to the AU with a study on the assessment of the operational readiness of the ASF brigades (it also assisted with the translation from English into Portuguese of African Standby Force documentation). Training support NATO has also provided targeted training packages to the ASF. Since 2009, the NATO School in Oberammergau has been hosting AU staff officers, who attend various courses, including operational planning discipline. JFC Naples - the designated NATO HQ to implement the Alliance’s practical cooperation with the AU – has also organised certification/evaluation training programmes for AU staff. For instance, it has trained AU officials participating in military exercise and provided military experts to assist in the evaluation and lessons learned procedures of the exercise. NATO has also participated and supported various ASF preparatory workshops designed to develop ASF-related concepts. Assisting the AU in Darfur, Sudan The African Union Mission in Sudan (AMIS) aimed to end violence and improve the humanitarian situation in a region that has been suffering from conflict since 2003. From June 2005 to 31 December 2007, NATO helped the AU expand its peacekeeping mission in Darfur by providing airlift for the transport of additional peacekeepers into the region and by training AU personnel. NATO support did not include the provision of combat troops. Alliance support ended on 31 December 2007 when AMIS was transferred to the United Nations/African Union Mission in Darfur (UNAMID). The Alliance has expressed its readiness to consider providing support to the UN-AU hybrid peacekeeping force made up of peacekeepers and civilian police officers, if requested. Airlifting AU peacekeepers and civilian police Between 1 July 2005 and October 2005, NATO coordinated the strategic airlift for peacekeepers from African troop-contributing countries moving into Darfur, helping to transport almost 5,000 troops. This boosted the number of troops on the ground to 8,000. In August 2005, on the request of the AU, the NAC agreed to assist in the transportation of civilian police. NATO coordinated the airlift of some 50 AMIS civilian police between August and October 2005. Additionally, from September 2005, NATO provided the coordination of strategic airlift for the rotation of troops, transporting them in and out of the region. Overall, NATO-EU Air Movement Coordinators harmonised the airlift of some 37,500 troops, civilian police and military observers in and out of the Sudanese region. NATO alone coordinated the airlift of over 31,500 AMIS troops and personnel. NATO's airlift was managed from Europe. A special AU Air Movement Cell at the AU’s headquarters in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, coordinated the movement of incoming troops and personnel on the ground. Both the EU and NATO provided staff to support the cell, but the AU had the lead. Training AU personnel For the duration of the mission, NATO also provided training assistance to AMIS in a variety of disciplines. Strategic level and operational planning: training in this area focused on technologies and techniques to create an overall analysis and understanding of Darfur, and to identify the areas where the application of AU assets could best influence the operating environment and deter crises. A total of 184 AU officers benefited from this training. They were based at two different AMIS headquarters: the Darfur Integrated Task Force Headquarters in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia and the AMIS Force Headquarters (FHQ) in El Fasher, Sudan. On 2 June 2006, the AU requested NATO support for the establishment of an AMIS Joint Operations Centre (JOC), which the Alliance agreed to provide six days later. Two months later, in August 2006, NATO also contributed to a UN-led mapping exercise. The aim of the exercise was to help AU personnel understand and operate effectively in the theatre of operations, as well as to build their capacity to manage strategic operations. NATO provided 14 officers, including exercise writers and tactical-level controllers. Training on “lessons learned”: on 8 June 2006, the NAC agreed to the AU request for training assistance in the fields of pre-deployment certification and lessons learned. Following a further AU request on 19 September of the same year, NATO provided mentoring and training on how to establish a tailored “lessons learned” process for the AU. Seventy-five AMIS officers from three different headquarters (the Darfur Integrated Task Force Headquarters, the AMIS Force Headquarters and the AU Mission Headquarters in Khartoum, Sudan) were trained through these courses. In this area, NATO was working in full complementarity with the European Union, which also provided substantive input to the process.   Training in information management: following a Note Verbale sent by the African Union on 25 August 2006, NATO provided temporary training and mentoring on managing information to six AU officers in the Information Assessment Cell of the Darfur Integrated Task Force. The bodies involved in decision-making and implementation Based on advice from NATO’s military authorities, the NAC agrees to provide support to the AU. With regard to NATO’s support to the AU mission in Sudan (AMIS), the then Joint Force Command Lisbon – under the overall command of Allied Command Operations - had the responsibility for the NATO Senior Military Liaison Officer (SMLO) team operating out of Addis Ababa. The SMLO team was NATO's single military point of contact in Addis Ababa with the AU. In addition, it was the NATO military point of contact with the representatives of the countries contributing troops to the AMIS operation, the representatives of the donor nations pledging support to the AU, the UN, the EU and various embassies.  The evolution of NATO’s assistance to AMIS On 26 April 2005, the AU asked NATO to consider the possibility of providing logistical support to help expand its peace-support mission in Darfur. In May 2005, the Chairman of the AU Commission, Mr. Alpha Oumar Konaré, visited NATO Headquarters to provide details of the assistance request. The next day, the NAC tasked the Alliance’s military authorities to provide, as a matter of urgency, advice on possible NATO support. Following further consultations with the AU, the European Union and the United Nations, in June 2005, NATO formally agreed to provide airlift support as well as training. The first planes carrying AU peacekeepers took off on 1 July of the same year. Training of AU officers started on 1 August and, a few days later, the NAC agreed to assist in the transport of police to Darfur. Key milestones – Darfur, Sudan 26 April 2005 The AU requests, by letter, NATO assistance in the expansion of its peacekeeping mission in Darfur. 17 May 2005 The Chairman of the AU Commission, Mr. Alpha Oumar Konaré, is the first AU official to visit NATO Headquarters in Brussels. 18 May 2005 The NAC agrees to task the Alliance’s military authorities to provide advice on possible NATO assistance. 24 May 2005 The NAC agrees on initial military options for possible NATO support. 26 May 2005 NATO Secretary General, Jaap de Hoop Scheffer, participates in a meeting in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, on international support to the AU’s mission. 8 June 2005 NATO agrees on the detailed modalities of Alliance support. 9 June 2005 Alliance Defence Ministers formally announced the decision to assist the AU peace support operation in Darfur with the coordination of strategic airlift and staff capacity-building. 1 July 2005 The NATO airlift begins. 1 August 2005 NATO training of AU officers begins. 5 August 2005 On the request of the AU, the NAC agrees to assist in the transport of civilian police to Darfur. 18-27 August 2005 NATO provides support to a UN-led map exercise to help AU personnel operate effectively in the theatre of operations and develop their capacity to manage strategic operations. 21 September 2005 The NAC agrees to extend the duration of NATO’s airlift support for the remaining peacekeeping reinforcements until 31 October 2005. 9 November 2005 The NAC agrees to extend NATO’s coordination of strategic airlift by two months, until end May 2006, in view of the African Union’s troop rotation schedule. 29 March 2006 Following a phone call from UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan on 27 March, the NAC announces its readiness to continue NATO’s current mission. The NAC tasks NATO military authorities to offer advice for possible NATO support to an anticipated follow-on UN mission in Darfur. 13 April 2006 The NAC announces its readiness to continue NATO’s current mission until 30 September. 5 May 2006 Two parties sign the Darfur Peace Agreement. 30 May 2006 UN Undersecretary General for Humanitarian Affairs, Mr Jan Egeland, visits NATO HQ to discuss Darfur and the role of the military in disaster relief. 2 June 2006 The Chairman of the AU Commission, Mr Alpha Oumar Konaré, requests the extension of NATO’s airlift and training support, as well as additional forms of assistance. 8 June 2006 Defence Ministers state NATO’s willingness to expand its training assistance to AMIS in the fields of Joint Operations Centres, pre-deployment certification and lessons learned. They also state the Alliance's willingness to consider support to an anticipated follow-on UN mission. The coordination of strategic airlift is extended until the end of 2006. 16 November 2006 The Addis Ababa meeting introduces the notion of an AU-UN hybrid peacekeeping mission. 28-29 November 2006 At the Riga Summit, NATO reaffirms its support to the AU and its willingness to broaden this support. It also reiterates its commitment to coordinating with other international actors. 14 December 2006 NATO decides to extend its support mission for six additional months. 15 December 2006 US Special Envoy to Darfur, Ambassador Andrew Natsios, meets NATO Secretary General, Jaap de Hoop Scheffer, at NATO Headquarters, Brussels. 15 January 2007 NATO agrees to provide staff capacity-training at the AU Mission HQ in Khartoum, in addition to training provided in El Fasher and Addis Ababa. 14 June 2007 NATO Defence Ministers reiterate the Alliance’s commitment to Darfur and welcome the agreement of the Sudanese Government to a UN-AU hybrid mission in Darfur. 6-7 December 2007 NATO Foreign Ministers express readiness to continue Alliance support to the African Union in Darfur, following consultation and agreement with the UN and the AU. 2-4 April 2008 At the Bucharest Summit, NATO states its concern for the situation in Darfur and its readiness to support AU peacekeeping efforts in the region, following consultation with and the agreement of the UN and the AU. 3-4 April 2009 At the Strasbourg/ Kehl Summit, NATO reiterates its concern for the situation in Darfur and, more generally, Sudan. Stressing the principle of African ownership, NATO states that it is ready to consider further requests for support from the AU, including regional capacity-building.
  • African Union in Darfur (Sudan), Assisting the -
    Assisting the African Union in Darfur, Sudan Information on NATO assistance to the African Union can be found on: http://www.nato.int/cps/en/natolive/topics_8191.htm
  • Agencies and organisations
    Organisations and agencies NATO Agencies are an essential part of NATO and constitute a vital mechanism for procuring and sustaining capabilities collectively. They are executive bodies of their respective NATO procurement, logistics or service organisations, and operate under North Atlantic Council-approved charters. The NATO Agencies are established to meet collective requirements of some or all Allies in the field of procurement, logistics and other forms of services, support or cooperation. Although NATO organisations and agencies are autonomous, they are required to follow the terms set out in their charters. NATO Agencies reform The NATO Agencies reform activity is part of an ongoing NATO reform process, which is also examining changes to the military command structure. The reform aims to enhance efficiency and effectiveness in the delivery of capabilities and services, to achieve greater synergy between similar functions and to increase transparency and accountability. At the 2010 Lisbon Summit, NATO Heads of State and Government agreed to reform the 14 existing NATO Agencies, located in seven member countries. In particular, Allies agreed to streamline the agencies into three major programmatic themes: procurement, support and communications and information. In July 2012, a major milestone was reached, with the creation of four new NATO Organisations, assuming the functions and responsibilities of existing agencies. The reform has been implemented through several phases, to incrementally achieve increased effectiveness, efficiency and cost savings, while preserving capability and service delivery. NATO Communications and Information Agency (NCIA), with headquarters in Brussels, providing NATO-wide IT services, procurement and support in areas such as Command and Control Systems, Tactical and Strategic Communications and Cyber Defence Systems. NATO Support Agency (NSPA), with headquarters in Capellen, Luxembourg, delivering in-service support, maintenance and logistics support for weapons systems, as well as operational logistics and other services for nations and the Alliance as a whole. NATO Procurement Organisation (NPO) – The North Atlantic Council decided to merge the Procurement and Support Agencies early 2014, reducing the number of new Organisations initially envisaged from four to three. It has postponed the activation of the procurement entity within the NSPA to the time when programmes are actually assigned by the participating countries.   The NATO Science and Technology Organization (STO) is to include a Programme Office for Collaborative Science and Technology and a Centre for Maritime Research and Experimentation. The STO is headed by a Chief Scientist, based in Brussels, who serves as a NATO-wide senior scientific advisor. The NATO Standardization Agency (NSA) is being transferred into a NATO Standardization Office (NSO) by 1 July 2014.
  • Air and Missile Defence, NATO Integrated -
    NATO Integrated Air and Missile Defence NATO nations started working together in the 1970s to establish an integrated air defence structure and system, combining national assets supplemented as necessary by NATO elements. Operating in a collective manner is more effective and efficient in protecting against air attacks than national air defence systems operating independently. With the advent of an Alliance ballistic missile defence capability, this structure is now known as the NATO Integrated Air and Missile Defence System. It comes under the command and control of Supreme Allied Commander Europe. NATO Integrated Air and Missile Defence is the integration of capabilities and overlapping operations of all services (air, land and maritime forces) to deter and defend against any threat to the safety of Allied populations and forces and the security of Alliance territory. It includes a network of interconnected systems to detect, track, classify, identify and monitor airborne objects, and – if necessary – to intercept them using surface-based or airborne weapons systems, as well as the procedures necessary to employ the systems. Components The NATO Integrated Air and Missile Defence System (NATINAMDS) comprises sensors, command and control facilities and weapons systems, such as surface-based air defence and fighter aircraft. It is a cornerstone of NATO air and missile defence policy, and a visible indication of cohesion, shared responsibility and solidarity across the Alliance. The Air Command and Control System Air Command and Control (Air C2) is essential to the success of any operation. The Air C2 structure in NATO has been a patchwork of disparate and aging systems that in many cases are reaching the end of their planned operational life. More than a decade ago – in recognition of the increasingly joint and combined nature of military operations and the necessity of replacing increasingly difficult to maintain equipment – NATO began to plan for and develop a new and more robust capability that would be a C2 system for all air operations. This system, called Air Command and Control System (ACCS), will facilitate the planning, tasking and execution of all air missions, as well as support NATO’s deployed operations and missions. Tasks NATO air policing Air policing is a collective peacetime mission that requires an Air Surveillance and Control System, an Air C2 structure and appropriate interceptor aircraft, usually fighters, to be available continuously. This enables the Alliance to detect, track and identify all violations and infringements of its airspace and to take the appropriate action, which may involve scrambling interceptor aircraft to assist in the process. Although not all Allies possess the necessary means to provide air policing of their airspace, other nations provide assistance when needed to ensure that no nation is left at a disadvantage and equality of security is provided for all. The Supreme Allied Commander Europe is responsible for conduct of the NATO air policing mission. Theatre ballistic missile defence/ ballistic missile defence In 2010, NATO acquired the first phase of an initial theatre ballistic missile defence (TBMD) capability to protect Alliance forces against ballistic missile threats. At the 2010 NATO Summit in Lisbon, NATO’s leaders decided to develop a BMD capability to pursue its core task of collective defence. To this end, they decided that the scope of the current Active Layered Theatre Ballistic Missile Defence (ALTBMD) programme’s command, control and communication capabilities would be expanded beyond the capability to protect deployed forces to also include NATO European territory, forces and populations. In this context, the United States’ European Phased Adaptive Approach (EPAA) and other possible national contributions were welcomed as valuable national contributions to the NATO BMD architecture. In May 2012, NATO Heads of State and Government declared at the Chicago Summit that the Alliance had achieved Interim NATO BMD capability. This is a significant first step in implementing NATO’s BMD capability. It offers the maximum coverage within available means to defend NATO’s populations, territory and forces across southern Europe against a ballistic missile attack. The Alliance remains committed to installing full BMD coverage for all NATO territory by the end of this decade. Mechanisms The Air and Missile Defence Committee (AMDC) is the senior multinational policy advisory and coordinating body regarding all elements of NATO’s integrated air and missile defence and relevant air power aspects in a joint approach. It reports directly to the North Atlantic Council and is supported by its Panel on Air and Missile Defence and two Drafting Groups. The AMDC meets in Heads of Delegation (twice yearly) and Permanent Session (monthly) formats. The Military Committee Working Group (Air Defence) is responsible for reviewing, advising and making recommendations to the Military Committee on air and missile defence issues. Other groups dealing with air and missile defence-related issues include the Defence Policy and Planning Committee (Reinforced) with particular responsibilities on ballistic missile defence, the Missile Defence Project Group, which oversees the BMD Programme Office, and the NATO-Russia Council Missile Defence Working Group. AMDC and cooperation with partners Since 1994, the AMDC has maintained a dialogue with NATO partner countries to promote mutual understanding, transparency and confidence in air defence matters of common interest. The air defence partner cooperation programme includes fact-finding meetings with air defence experts, seminars and workshops, visits to air defence facilities and installations, joint analytical studies and a programme for the exchange of unclassified air situation data. 
  • Air and Missile Defence Committee (AMDC)
    Air and Missile Defence Committee (AMDC) The Air and Missile Defence Committee (AMDC) is the senior policy advisory and coordinating body regarding all aspects of NATO’s integrated air and missile defence and related air power aspects, including air command and control. The AMDC also supports Alliance work on establishing a ballistic missile defence (BMD) capability by offering specialist advice and expertise to the senior level committee responsible for BMD development. Main participants The AMDC is chaired by NATO’s Deputy Secretary General and supported by the Armaments and Aerospace Capabilities Directorate of the Defence Investment (DI) Division. The Vice Chairman of the AMDC is a senior level (two-star) national secondee who serves a two-year term when elected by the AMDC. The AMDC holds meetings twice a year at heads of delegation level, including one within the Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council (EAPC) framework with partners. Working mechanism As a senior committee, the AMDC reports directly to the North Atlantic Council (NAC). It is supported by the Panel on Air and Missile Defence, which develops policy advice for consideration by the AMDC to support Alliance objectives and priorities. The panel also works to identify opportunities for air and missile defence cooperation, development and research collaboration with members and Euro-Atlantic partners.  Under the aegis of the AMDC, a NATO Analytical Air Defence Cell (NAADC) provides support to Allies and partners by developing joint studies of national air defence capabilities and systems.
  • Air Command and Control System (ACCS), NATO
    NATO Air Command and Control System (ACCS) The NATO Air Command And Control System (ACCS) is intended to combine, and automate, at the tactical level the planning and tasking and execution of all air operations. When operational, the ACCS will provide a unified air command and control system, enabling NATO’s European nations (including new Alliance members) to seamlessly manage all types of air operations over their territory, and beyond. NATO members will be able to integrate their air traffic control, surveillance, air mission control, airspace management and force management functions. ACCS will incorporate the most modern technologies, and will make full use of up-to-date data link communications. Through its open architecture, the system is already evolving to meet emerging operational requirements such as those associated with theatre missile defence, and it will be able to adapt to a changing operational environment such as network centric warfare.
  • Airlift , Strategic -
    Strategic airlift Giving Alliance forces global reach NATO member countries have pooled their resources to acquire special aircraft that will give the Alliance the capability to transport troops, equipment and supplies across the globe. Robust strategic airlift capabilities are vital to ensure that NATO countries are able to deploy their forces and equipment rapidly to wherever they are needed. By pooling resources, NATO countries have made significant financial savings, and have the potential of acquiring assets collectively that would be prohibitively expensive to purchase as individual countries. There are currently two initiatives aimed at providing NATO nations and participating partners with strategic airlift capabilities. Strategic Airlift Interim Solution (SALIS) Context A multinational consortium of 14 countries is chartering Antonov An-124-100 transport aircraft as a Strategic Airlift Interim Solution (SALIS). SALIS provides assured access to up to six AN-124-100 aircraft (mission-ready within nine days in case of crisis) in support of NATO/EU operations. The Russian and Ukrainian Antonov aircraft are being used as an interim solution to meet shortfalls in the Alliance’s strategic airlift capabilities, pending deliveries of Airbus A400M aircraft. This is why the project is called Strategic Airlift Interim Solution (SALIS). The SALIS initiative is planned to continue until the end of 2014.  Nations already expressed a need for continuation of the initiative but will adjust their requirement as the Airbus A400m aircraft comes into service. Components The SALIS contract provides two Antonov An-124-100 aircraft on part-time charter, two more on six days’ notice and another two on nine days’ notice. The countries have committed to using the aircraft for a minimum of 2800 flying hours per year for 2013 and for a minimum of 2450 flying hours for 2014. Additional aircraft types such as IL-76 and AN-225 are included in the contract, but its use is subject to availability. A single Antonov An-124-100 can carry up to 120 tons of cargo. NATO has used Antonovs in the past to transport equipment to and from Afghanistan, deliver aid to the victims of the October 2005 earthquake in Pakistan and airlift African Union peacekeepers in and out of Darfur.  Today, support missions for forces in Afghanistan are predominant. Participants The consortium includes 12 NATO nations (Belgium, the Czech Republic, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Luxembourg, Norway, Poland, Slovakia, Slovenia, the United Kingdom) and two partner nations (Finland and Sweden). Mechanisms The capability is coordinated on a day-to-day basis by the Strategic Airlift Coordination Centre, which is collocated with the NATO Movement Coordination Centre Europe (MCCE) based in Eindhoven, the Netherlands. The NATO Support Agency (NSPA) provides support by managing the SALIS contract and the SALIS partnership. Evolution In June 2003 , NATO Ministers of Defence signed letters of intent on strategic air- and sealift. At the June 2004 Istanbul Summit , defence ministers of 15 countries signed a memorandum of understanding to achieve an operational airlift capacity for outsize cargo by 2005, using up to six Antonov An-124-100 transport aircraft. In addition, the Defence Ministers of Bulgaria and Romania signed a letter of intent to join the consortium. In January 2006 , the 15 countries tasked the NATO Maintenance and Supply Agency to sign a contract with Ruslan SALIS GmbH, a subsidiary of the Russian company Volga-Dnepr, based in Leipzig. In March 2006 , the 15 original signatories were joined by Sweden at a special ceremony in Leipzig to mark the entry into force of the multinational contract. The contract’s initial duration was for three years but this has now been extended until the end of 2014. Finland and Poland have also now joined the SALIS programme. The SALIS contract was re-competed in 2012 and Ruslan SALIS GmbH was awarded a new two-year contract (2013/2014) with options to extend until December 2017. Volga-Dnepr and Ukraine’s ADB airlines provide the SALIS aircraft and also provide Antonov AN-124-100 aircraft to support the Afghanistan mission, with weekly sorties from Europe to Afghanistan and back, under contractual arrangements with NATO Support Agency (NSPA). The capabilities of SALIS are playing a substantial role in ongoing Afghanistan re-deployment. Strategic Airlift Capability (SAC) Context The first Boeing C-17 was delivered in July 2009 with the second and third aircraft following in September and October 2009, respectively. Its operational arm, the Heavy Airlift Wing (HAW) at Pápa Airbase in Hungary operates the aircraft. The HAW is manned by personnel from all participating nations and its missions support national requirements. Operations have included support to ISAF (Afghanistan), Kosovo Force (KFOR), Unified Protector in Libya, humanitarian relief in Haiti and Pakistan, African peacekeeping and assistance to the Polish authorities following the air disaster in Russia. In addition, there are national procurement programmes in place to improve airlift capabilities, including the acquisition by seven NATO nations of 180 A400M aircraft, and the purchase by Canada, the United Kingdom and the United States of C-17s for national use. Components The C-17 is a large strategic transport aircraft capable of carrying 77,000 kilograms (169,776 pounds) of cargo over 4,450 kilometres (2,400 nautical miles) and is able to operate in difficult environments and austere conditions. The planes are configured and equipped to the same general standard as C-17s operated by the US Air Force. The crews and support personnel are trained for mission profiles and standards agreed by the countries. These strategic lift aircraft are used to meet national requirements, but could also be allocated for NATO, UN or EU missions, or for other international purposes. Participants The participants include ten NATO nations (Bulgaria, Estonia, Hungary, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Romania, Slovenia and the United States) and two partner nations (Finland and Sweden). Membership in the airlift fleet remains open to other countries upon agreement by the consortium members. Mechanisms The Multinational SAC Steering Board has the overall responsibility for the guidance and oversight of the programme and formulates its requirements. The NATO Airlift Management Programme provides administrative support to the Heavy Airlift Wing at Papa Airbase. Evolution On 12 September 2006,  a Letter of Intent (LOI) to launch contract negotiations was publicly released by 13 NATO countries. In the intervening period, Finland and Sweden joined the consortium and NATO participation evolved to the current ten members. In June 2007 , the North Atlantic Council (NAC) approved the Charter of a NATO Production and Logistics Organisation (NPLO), which authorises the establishment of the NATO Airlift Management Organisation (NAMO).  The Charter came into effect upon signature to the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) and notification to the North Atlantic Council, in September 2008 .  The Charter authorised the establishment of the NATO Airlift Management Agency (NAMA), which acquired, manages and supports the airlift assets on behalf of the SAC nations. On 1 July 2012 , in line with NATO Agencies Reform decisions, NAMO/NAMA became part of the new NATO Support Agency, or NSPA.
  • Air Traffic Management Committee (ATMC)
    NATO Air Traffic Management Committee The NATO Air Traffic Management Committee (ATMC) is the senior civil-military NATO body with responsibility for air traffic management (ATM). The ATMC ensures NATO’s interface with civil aviation authorities and is charged with the production, dissemination, monitoring and enforcement of Allied ATM standards, guidance and policy. It also advises the North Atlantic Council (NAC) on all matters related to airspace use and ATM in support of Alliance objectives. Role and responsibilities The ATMC’s main focus is to provide ATM support to NATO missions, operations and exercises. Most notably, this vital support is being provided in the Balkans, Afghanistan and Libya, where NATO is working alongside national governments, international and regional bodies and organisations to rebuild and rehabilitate the countries’ respective aviation sectors. To ensure that Allied forces train and prepare adequately for their contribution to operations, the ATMC monitors aviation modernisation developments. It takes appropriate action to safeguard NATO’s requirements regarding airspace utilisation and evaluates the impact of new ATM and communications, navigation and surveillance (CNS) developments on NATO’s operational capability. The Committee regularly tasks its technical working body, known as the Air Traffic Management-Communications, Navigation and Surveillance Working Group (ATM-CNS WG) to develop consolidated NATO views, policies, doctrines and guidance on ATM matters. This approach helps the ATMC contribute to ATM harmonisation, interoperability and standardisation for manned and un-manned aircraft. Further, the ATMC helps NATO contribute to security in the civil/military aviation domain through a joint NATO/Eurocontrol ATM Security Coordinating Group. Main participants The ATMC is chaired by the Director of the Aerospace Capabilities Directorate in NATO’s Defence Investment (DI) Division. The day-to-day work of the Committee is supported by DI. Airspace use and ATM require global coordination. Thus, the ATMC ensures cooperation, dialogue and partnership with other national, regional and international aviation organisations and bodies. Representatives of the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO), Eurocontrol, European Commission Air transport, the International Air Transport Association (IATA) and other aviation stakeholders regularly attend ATMC meetings and provide advice and support. Dedicated sessions of the committee take place in cooperation with partner countries. In particular, the ATMC also works with the involvement and support of NATO’s Euro-Atlantic and Mediterranean Dialogue partners.
  • Alliance Ground Surveillance (AGS)
    Alliance Ground Surveillance (AGS) NATO plans to acquire an Alliance Ground Surveillance (AGS) system that will increase NATO commanders’ ground/surface situational awareness and provide key pieces of the comprehensive land and/or maritime picture. NATO’s recent operations have showed the need for and importance of such a capability. A group of Allied nations intend to acquire five unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) and the associated mobile and deployable operational ground stations. NATO will then operate and maintain them on behalf of all 28 Allies. This key transatlantic procurement programme is being executed following the signature of the AGS acquisition contract at the Chicago Summit in May 2012. The NATO-owned and operated AGS core capability will enable the Alliance to perform persistent surveillance over wide areas from high-altitude, long-endurance, unmanned aerial platforms operating at considerable stand-off distances and in varied weather and  light conditions. Using advanced radar sensors, these systems will continuously detect and track moving objects throughout observed areas and will provide radar imagery of areas of interest and stationary objects. In addition, the deployable and fixed ground stations will provide the capability of Moving Target Indicator (MTI) tracking and Imagery Intelligence (IMINT) exploitation services for any AGS and Joint Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (JISR) interoperable asset. The main operating base for AGS will be located at Sigonella Air Base in Italy, which will serve a dual purpose as a NATO JISR deployment base and data exploitation and training centre.  Just as NATO’s Airborne Early Warning & Control (NAEW&C) aircraft – also known as AWACS – monitor Alliance airspace, AGS will be able to observe what is happening on the earth’s surface, providing situational awareness before, during and, if needed, after NATO operations. The AGS system is expected to be acquired by 15 Allies (Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Germany, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Norway, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia and the United States), and then will be made available to the Alliance in the 2016-2018 timeframe. Components The AGS Core will be an integrated system consisting of an air segment, a ground segment and a support segment. The air segment consists of five Global Hawk Block 40 high-altitude, long-endurance UAVs. The UAVs will be equipped with a state-of-the-art, Multi-Platform Radar Technology Insertion Program (MP-RTIP) ground surveillance radar sensor, as well as an extensive suite of line-of-sight and beyond-line-of-sight, long-range, wideband data links. The air segment will also contain the UAV flight control stations (AVMC2), which will be located at the AGS main operating base at Sigonella Air Base, Italy. The ground segment will provide an interface between the AGS Core system and a wide range of command, control, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (C2ISR) systems to interconnect with and provide data to multiple deployed and non-deployed operational users, including reach-back facilities remote from the surveillance area. The ground segment component will consist of a number of ground/maritime stations in various configurations, such as mobile and transportable, which will provide data-link connectivity, surveillance, data-processing and exploitation capabilities via interfaces (interoperability) with NATO and national C2ISR systems. The AGS Core support segment will include dedicated mission support facilities at the AGS main operating base in Sigonella, Italy. Contributions in kind provided by France and the United Kingdom will complement the AGS with additional surveillance systems.  The composition of the AGS Core system and these contributions in kind will provide NATO with considerable flexibility in employing its ground surveillance capabilities. This will be supplemented by additional interoperable airborne surveillance systems from NATO nations, tailored to the needs of a specific operation or mission conducted by the Alliance.  Mechanisms The NATO Alliance Ground Surveillance Management Organisation (NAGSMO) is responsible for the acquisition of the AGS core capability on behalf of the 15 participating nations. The AGS Implementation Office (AGS IO) at Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe (SHAPE) is responsible for ensuring the successful operational integration and employment of the NATO AGS core capability. The NATO Alliance Ground Surveillance Management Agency (NAGSMA), an executive body of NAGSMO, is responsible for procuring the NATO AGS Core system. This Core system will be supplemented by interoperable national assets, as part of a system of systems. The AGS contract is currently in full-speed execution, with many of AGS’ assets in production. The industries of all 15 participating nations are contributing to the delivery of the AGS system. The engagement of NATO common funds for infrastructure, communications, operation and support will follow normal funding authorisation procedures applicable within the Alliance. Supporting NATO’s core tasks The Lisbon Summit set out the vision of Allied Heads of State and Government for the evolution of NATO and the security of its member nations. This vision is based on three core tasks, which are detailed in the new Strategic Concept: cooperative security crisis management collective defence AGS was recognised at Lisbon as a critical capability for the Alliance and is planned to be a major contributor to NATO’s JISR ambition. AGS will contribute to these three core tasks through using its Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR), MTI and communications capabilities to collect ground and surface information and share the information with political and military decision-makers.  Evolution Originating from the Defence Planning Committee in 1992, the AGS programme was defined as a capability acquisition effort in 1995, when the NATO Defence Ministers agreed that “the Alliance should pursue work on a minimum essential NATO-owned and operated core capability supplemented by interoperable national assets.” The AGS programme was to provide NATO with a complete and integrated ground surveillance capability that would offer the Alliance and its nations unrestricted and unfiltered access to ground surveillance data in near real time, and in an interoperable manner.  It was to include an air segment comprising airborne radar sensors, and a ground segment comprising fixed, transportable and mobile ground stations for data exploitation and dissemination, all seamlessly interconnected linked through high-performance data links. From the outset, the AGS capability was expected to be based on one or more types of ground surveillance assets either already existing or in development in NATO nations, an approach that later also came to include proposed developmental systems based on US or European radars.  However, all those approaches failed to obtain sufficient support by the NATO nations to allow their realisation.  In 2001, the Reinforced North Atlantic Council (NAC(R)) decided to revitalise AGS through a developmental programme available to all NATO nations and a corresponding cooperative radar development effort called the Transatlantic Cooperative AGS Radar (TCAR). In 2004, NATO decided to move ahead with what was labelled as a mixed-fleet approach.  The air segment was to include Airbus A321 manned aircraft and Global Hawk UAVs, both carrying versions of the TCAR radar, while the ground segment was to comprise an extensive set of fixed and deployable ground stations.  Due to declining European defence budgets, NATO decided in 2007 to discontinue the mixed-fleet approach and instead to move forward with a simplified AGS system where the air segment was based on the off-the-shelf Global Hawk Block 40 UAV and its associated Multi-Platform Radar Technology Insertion Program (MP-RTIP) sensor.  The ground segment, which would largely be developed and built by European and Canadian industry, remained virtually unchanged as its functional and operational characteristics were largely independent of the actual aircraft and sensor used. In February 2009, the NATO nations participating in the AGS programme started the process to sign the Programme Memorandum of Understanding (PMOU). This was a significant step forward on the road towards realising an urgently required, operationally essential capability for NATO.  NAGSMA was established in September 2009, after all participating nations had agreed on the PMOU. The PMOU serves as the basis for the procurement of this new NATO capability. Another important milestone for the AGS programme was the 2010 Lisbon Summit, where the strong operational need for a NATO-owned and operated AGS capability was reconfirmed with NATO’s new Strategic Concept. AGS also featured in the Lisbon Package as one of the Alliance’s most pressing capability needs. On 3 February 2012, the North Atlantic Council (NAC) decided on a way ahead to collectively cover the costs for operating AGS for the benefit of the Alliance.  The decision to engage NATO common funding for infrastructure, satellite communications and operations and support paves the way for awarding the AGS acquisition contract.  In addition, an agreement was reached to make the UK Sentinel system and the future French Heron TP system available as national contributions in kind, partly replacing financial contributions from those two Allies. Facts and Figures General characteristics of the Global Hawk Block 40 UAV: Primary function: High-altitude, long-endurance intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance Power Plant: Rolls Royce-North American AE 3007H turbofan Thrust: 7,600 lbs  Wingspan: 130.9 ft / 39.8 m Length: 47.6 ft / 14.5 m Height: 15.3 ft / 4.7 m Weight: 14,950 lbs / 6,781 kg Maximum takeoff weight: 32,250 lbs / 14,628 kg Fuel Capacity: 17,300 lbs / 7,847 kg Payload: 3,000 lbs / 1,360 kg Speed: 310 knots / 357 mph / 575 kph Range: 8,700 nautical miles / 10,112 miles / 16,113 km Ceiling: 60,000 ft / 18,288 m
  • Allied Command Operations (ACO)
    Allied Command Operations (ACO) Allied Command Operations (ACO) is responsible for the planning and execution of all Alliance operations. It consists of a small number of permanently established headquarters, each with a specific role. The Supreme Allied Commander, Europe - or SACEUR – assumes the overall command of operations at the strategic level and exercises his responsibilities from the headquarters in Mons, Belgium: the Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe, more commonly known as SHAPE. ACO is one of two strategic commands at the head of NATO’s military command structure; the other is Allied Command Transformation (ACT), which as its name indicates, leads the transformation of NATO’s military structure, forces, capabilities and doctrine. Together they form what is called the NATO Command Structure (NCS), whose function is first and foremost to be able to address threats and should deterrence fail, an armed attack against the territory of any of the European¹ Allies. Ultimately, the NCS plays an essential role in preserving cohesion and solidarity within the Alliance, maintaining and strengthening the vital transatlantic link and promoting the principle of equitable sharing among Allies of the roles, risks and responsibilities, as well as the benefits of collective defence. ACO must ensure the ability to operate at three overlapping levels: strategic, operational and tactical, with the overarching aim of maintaining the integrity of Alliance territory, safeguarding freedom of the seas and economic lifelines, and to preserve or restore the security of NATO member countries. Moreover, in the current security environment, deploying forces further afield has become the norm. Decisions to streamline NATO’s military command structure were taken in June 2011 as part of a wider process of reform. ACO was principally affected by this reform, the full implementation of which is expected by the end of 2015, when all entities involved will reach full operational capability. With this reform, new tasks stemming from the 2010 Strategic Concept were included and the Alliance’s level of ambition maintained. Elements of ACO will gain in flexibility and provide a deployable Command and Control (C2) capability at the operational level, offering choices and options for rapid intervention that have not previously been available to the Alliance. Moreover, a Communication and Information Systems (CIS) Group has been formed as part of the military command structure to provide additional deployable communication and information systems support. Once fully implemented, the reform will lead to an estimated reduction in personnel of approximately 30 per cent (from 13,000 to 8,800). The military command structure proper has been downsized from 11 entities to seven². Links with the NATO Force Structure will be reinforced. The Force Structure is composed of Allied national and multinational deployable forces and headquarters placed at the Alliance’s disposal by member countries on a permanent or temporary basis. National contributions are made available for NATO operations at appropriate states of readiness when required. Rules of deployment and transfer of authority to NATO command can vary from country to country. It is considered that whereas Article 5 applies to the entire NATO Treaty Area, the NATO Command Structure’s operational area of responsibility does not include the territory of the United States or Canada. This is not meant to imply that the NATO Command Structure should not be able to support the United States and Canada should the territory of these two Allies be subject to an armed attack, but rather to acknowledge that defensive operations on the territory of these two Allies will be conducted, commanded and controlled in accordance with bilateral arrangements and not under the auspices of the NATO Command Structure. These figures cover Allied Command Operations and Allied Command Transformation. The military command structure As previously explained, ACO is a three-tier command with headquarters and supporting elements at the strategic, operational and tactical level. It exercises command and control of static and deployable headquarters, as well as joint and combined forces across the full range of the Alliance’s military missions. Joint forces are forces from two or more military departments working under a single command and combined forces are forces from different countries working under a single command. SHAPE, at the strategic level, is at the head of six operational commands, two of which are supported by tactical (or component) level entities. Allied Command Operations Strategic level command: SHAPE SHAPE is a strategic headquarters. Its role is to prepare, plan, conduct and execute NATO military operations, missions and tasks in order to achieve the strategic objectives of the Alliance. As such it contributes to the deterrence of aggression and the preservation of peace, security and the territorial integrity of Alliance. ACO is headed by SACEUR, who exercises his responsibilities from SHAPE. Traditionally, he is a United States Flag or General officer. SACEUR is dual-hatted as the commander of the US European Command, which shares many of the same geographical responsibilities. SACEUR is responsible to the Military Committee, which is the senior military authority in NATO under the overall political authority of the North Atlantic Council (NAC) and the Nuclear Planning Group (NPG). The Military Committee is the primary source of military advice to the NAC and NPG. Operational level commands: Brunssum and Naples The operational level consists of two standing Joint Force Commands (JFCs): one in Brunssum, the Netherlands, and one in Naples, Italy. Both have to be prepared to plan, conduct and sustain NATO operations of different size and scope. Effectively, they need to be able to manage a major joint operation either from their static location in Brunssum or Naples, or from a deployed headquarters when operating directly in a theatre of operation. In the latter case, the deployed headquarter is referred to as a Joint Task Force HQ or JTFHQ and should be able to operate for a period of up to one year. When deployed, a Joint Force Command is only charged to command one operation at a time. However, the elements of the Joint Force Command which have not deployed can provide support to other operations and missions. When a Joint Force Command is not deployed, it can assist ACO in dealing with other headquarters which are deployed in theatre for day-to-day matters and assist, for instance, with the training and preparation for future rotations. The two commands at this level are also responsible for engaging with key partners and regional organisations in order to support regional NATO HQ tasks and responsibilities, as directed by SACEUR. Additionally, they support the reinforcement of cooperation with partners participating in NATO operations and help to prepare partner countries for NATO membership. Tactical level commands: Izmir, Northwood and Ramstein Land, maritime and air commands The tactical (or component) level consists of what is called Single Service Commands (SSCs): land, maritime and air commands. These service-specific commands provide expertise and support to the Joint Force Commands at the operational level in Brunssum or Naples. They report directly to SHAPE and come under the command of SACEUR. Land command , Headquarters Allied Land Command (HQ LANDCOM), Izmir, Turkey: this command’s role is to provide a deployable land command and control capability in support of a Joint Force Command running an operation larger than a major joint operation. It can also provide the core land capability for a joint operation (major or not) or a deployable command and control capability for a land operation. Izmir is also the principal land advisor for the Alliance and contributes to development and transformation, engagement and outreach within its area of expertise. Maritime command , Headquarters Allied Maritime Command (HQ MARCOM), Northwood, the United Kingdom: this command’s role is to provide command and control for the full spectrum of joint maritime operations and tasks. From its location in Northwood, it plans, conducts and supports joint maritime operations. It is also the Alliance’s principal maritime advisor and contributes to development and transformation, engagement and outreach within its area of expertise. Northwood is ready to command a small maritime joint operation or act as the maritime component in support of an operation larger than a major joint operation. Air command , Headquarters Allied Air Command (HQ AIRCOM), Ramstein, Germany: this command’s role is to plan and direct the air component of Alliance operations and missions, and the execution of Alliance air and missile defence operations and missions. Ramstein is also the Alliance’s principal air advisor and contributes to development and transformation, engagement and outreach within its area of expertise. Ramstein, with adequate support from within and outside the NATO Command Structure can provide command and control for a small joint air operation from its static location, i.e., from Ramstein or can act as Air Component Command to support an operation which is as big or bigger than a major joint operation. To reinforce its capability, Ramstein has additional air command and control elements available: two Combined Air Operations Centres and a Deployable Air Command and Control Centre. The air elements are also structured in a more flexible way to take account of the experience gained in NATO-led operations. Additional air support To carry out its missions and tasks, HQ AIRCOM (Ramstein) is supported by Combined Air Operations Centres (CAOC) in Torrejon, Spain and in Uedem, Germany, as well as one Deployable Air Command and Control Centre (DACCC) in Poggio Renatico, Italy. CAOCs: both the CAOC in Spain and in Germany are composed of two parts. One part is a Static Air Defence Centre (SADC) responsible for air policing and the other, a Deployable Air Operations Centre (D-AOC), which supports operations. The D-AOC is an element focused on the production of combat plans and the conduct of combat operations. It has no territorial responsibilities assigned during peacetime, but supplements the HQ AIRCOM when required. DACCC: this entity based in Italy consists of three elements. Firstly, a DARS or Deployable Air Control Centre + Recognized Air Picture Production Centre + Sensor Fusion Post. The DARS is responsible for the control of air missions including surface-to-air missiles, air traffic management and control, area air surveillance and production of a recognised air picture and other tactical control functions; secondly, a D-AOC, which has the same role as a CAOC; and thirdly, a Deployable Sensors Section, which provides both air defence radar and passive electronic support measures tracker capabilities that are deployable. Communication and information systems   Communication and information systems (CIS) have been split into two: the deployable CIS capabilities and the static CIS capabilities. The NATO CIS Group based in Mons, Belgium will provide deployable communications and information systems support for ACO. The NATO CIS Group is responsible for the provision of all deployable CIS capabilities, as well as CIS operations and exercises planning and control. It acts as the coordinating authority for command and control services support to operations. The provision of the static and central CIS capabilities is the responsibility of the NATO Communications and Information Agency (NCIA), which is not part of the NATO Command Structure. The NATO Communication and Information Systems (CIS) Group will be supported by three NATO Signals Battalions located at Wesel, Germany, Grazzanise, Italy, and Bydgoszcz, Poland. These three will be complemented by various smaller elements (Deployable CIS modules) elsewhere. STRIKFORNATO, AWACS and AGS Naval Striking and Support Forces NATO (STRIKFORNATO), NATO Airborne Early Warning and Control Force (NAEW&CF) and Alliance Ground Surveillance (AGS) are part of the NATO Immediate Response Capability. They are multinational structures that are not part of the Command Structure, but are available for the Alliance and organized under Memorandums of Understanding and Technical Agreements (MOU/ TA) signed by the respective contributing countries. STRIKFORNATO is a rapidly deployable maritime headquarters that provides scalable command and control across the full spectrum of the Alliance’s fundamental security tasks. It focuses on maritime operations and, as part of NATO reforms, has moved from Italy to Portugal. It comprises 11 participating countries and serves as a link for integrating US maritime forces into NATO operations. Final agreement is awaited on the NATO NAEW&C Force. The Force Commander is conducting a comprehensive Force Review that will determine the size and shape of the Airborne Warning & Control System (AWACS) capability for the future and is adapting the capability to match the new manpower ceilings decided in the context of the new Command Structure. The NAEW&C Force comprises three elements: a multinational HQ (Mons) and two operational components, the multinational E-3A and the E-3D. NATO Air Base (NAB) Geilenkirchen, Germany, is home to 17 Boeing E-3A 'Sentry' AWACS aircrafts. NATO operates this fleet, which provides the Alliance with an immediately available airborne command and control (C2), air and maritime surveillance and battle-space management capability. The fleet of six Boeing E-3D aircraft based in Waddington, Lincolnshire, United Kingdom, is manned by RAF personnel only. The United Kingdom exercises limited participation, but her fleet of E-3D aircraft is an integral part of the NAEW&C Force. NATO is acquiring an Alliance Ground Surveillance (AGS) system that will provide SACEUR with the capabilities for near real-time, continuous information and situational awareness concerning friendly, neutral and opposing ground and surface entities. The AGS system will consist of five Global Hawk Unmanned Airborne Vehicles and the associated command and control base stations, as well as support facilities provided by the AGS’ main operating base at Sigonella, Italy. Using advanced radar sensors, these systems will continuously detect and track moving objects and will provide radar imagery of areas of interest and stationary objects. The system will be fully trained and equipped to participate in NATO approved operations worldwide and available at graduated levels of readiness. It is expected to be available to the Alliance in the 2015-2017 timeframe. Evolution The Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers, Europe (SHAPE) was activated on 2 April 1951, in Rocquencourt, France, as part of an effort to establish an integrated and effective NATO military force. Allied Command, Atlantic, headed by Supreme Allied Commander Atlantic (SACLANT) was activated a year later, on 10 April 1952. In 1967, after France’s withdrawal from NATO’s integrated military structure, SHAPE was relocated to Mons, Belgium. The London Declaration of July 1990 was a decisive turning point in the history of the Alliance and led to the adoption of the new Alliance Strategic Concept in November 1991, reflecting a broader approach to security. This in turn led to NATO’s Long Term Study to examine the Integrated Military Structure and put forward proposals for change to the Alliance’s force structures, command structures and common infrastructure. In essence, the Cold War command structure was reduced from 78 headquarters to 20 with two overarching Strategic Commanders (SC), one for the Atlantic, and one for Europe; there were three Regional Commanders under the Supreme Allied Commander, Atlantic (SACLANT) and two under the Supreme Allied Commander, Europe (SACEUR). During the 2002 Prague Summit, NATO’s military Command Structure was again reorganised with a focus on becoming leaner and more efficient. The former Allied Command Europe (ACE) became the Allied Command Operations (ACO). The Supreme Allied Commander Europe and his staff at the Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe (SHAPE) situated in Mons, Belgium, were henceforth responsible for all Alliance operations, including those previously undertaken by SACLANT. The reform resulted in a significant reduction in headquarters and Combined Air Operations Centres – from 32 command centres down to 9 – and reflected a fundamental shift in Alliance thinking. In 2010, the decision was taken to conduct a far-reaching reform of the NATO Command Structure as part of an overall reform of NATO. The reform was conducted with the development of the Strategic Concept 2010 firmly in mind and has focused on ensuring that the Alliance can confront the security challenges of the 21st century effectively and efficiently. The new Command Structure is forward-looking and flexible, as well as leaner and more affordable. In comparison to the previous structures, it will provide a real deployable, multinational, command and control capability at the operational level. It also offers a more coherent structure that will be understood by other international organisations and partners. The new Command Structure was approved by NATO defence ministers in June 2011. It transitioned to its new format (Transition Day) on 1 December 2012 and is expected to be fully implemented by the end of 2015.
  • Allied Command Transformation (ACT)
    Allied Command Transformation Allied Command Transformation (ACT) is leading, at the military strategic command level, the transformation of NATO’s military structure, forces, capabilities and doctrine. It is enhancing training, particularly of commanders and staffs, conducting experiments to assess new concepts, and promoting interoperability throughout the Alliance. ACT is one of two strategic commands at the head of NATO’s command structure, the other being Allied Command Operations (ACO). Together they form what is called the NATO Command Structure (NCS), whose prime function is first and foremost to provide the command and control needed to address threats and, should deterrence fail, an armed attack against the territory of any of the European¹ Allies.  Ultimately, the NCS plays an essential role in preserving cohesion and solidarity within the Alliance, maintaining and strengthening the vital transatlantic link and promoting the principle of equitable sharing among Allies of the roles, risks and responsibilities, as well as the benefits of collective defence. Headquarters, Supreme Allied Commander Transformation (HQ SACT), located in Norfolk, Virginia is the only NATO command in North America. It houses the command structure of ACT and directs ACT's various subordinate commands, including the Joint Warfare Centre in Norway, the Joint Force Training Centre in Poland, and the Joint Analysis & Lessons Learned Centre in Portugal. It also has strong links with national headquarters and entities such as the Centres of Excellence (see below for explanations), educational and training facilities, as well as with the NATO Force Structure in general 2 .  The Supreme Allied Commander Transformation (SACT) is a four-star general. He is responsible to the Military Committee for the transformation and development of Alliance forces to ensure they are capable of meeting the challenges NATO may face. The Military Committee is the senior military authority in NATO under the overall political authority of the North Atlantic Council (NAC) and the Nuclear Planning Group (NPG). ACT’s role and structure ACT was created as part of a reorganisation of the NATO Command Structure in 2002. This was the first time in NATO’s history that a strategic command was solely dedicated to “transformation”, demonstrating the importance placed by Allies on the roles of transformation and development as continuous and essential drivers for change that will ensure the relevance of the Alliance in a rapidly evolving global security environment. ACT is organised around four principal functions: strategic thinking; the development of capabilities; education, training and exercises; and cooperation and engagement. These functions are reflected in the composition of ACT, which is comprised of the Norfolk Headquarters and three subordinate entities: one in Norway (Joint Warfare Centre), one in Poland (Joint Force Training Centre) and one in Portugal (Joint Analysis & Lessons Learned Centre). ACT also includes a SACT representative at NATO Headquarters in Brussels and at the Pentagon outside Washington D.C., an ACT Staff Element at the ACO Headquarters - Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe or SHAPE - and a shared Military Partnership Directorate (MPD) with ACO, also located at SHAPE. Additionally, NATO’s other education and training facilities and nationally-run entities, which are not part of the NCS, also coordinate with ACT. This includes the NATO Defense College in Rome, Italy, the NATO School in Oberammergau, Germany, the NATO Communications and Information Systems School, Portugal (from 2016 or 2017 – currently located in Italy), the NATO Maritime Interdiction Operational Training Centre, Greece, and the nationally-run Centres of Excellence. NATO Agencies also interact with ACT on matters of common concern.   Strategic Plans and Policy The main responsibility of Strategic Plans and Policy is threefold: to develop and promote issues of strategic importance to transformation; articulate policies to direct Alliance transformation efforts; and support the development of NATO strategic-level concepts which clarify how transformation may be achieved. Capability Development This is a broad area which covers the entire capability development process, i.e., from the moment a need is identified to the production phase when a new capability is actually developed for the Alliance. Moreover, Capability Development provides a major contribution to the NATO Defence Planning Process improving interoperability, deployability and sustainability of Alliance forces. The Directorate focuses on science and technology, and maintains collaboration with industry to infuse innovative ideas and transformative principles into NATO capability development processes and products. In addition, it establishes and maintains a transformation network and constitutes a hub within the NATO organisation and between member countries to promote continuous reform of NATO forces, structures and processes. Joint Force Training Joint Force Training (JFT) directs and co-ordinates all ACT activities that are related to the conduct of individual and collective training and exercises. The aim is to continually provide the Alliance with improved capabilities and enable its forces to undertake the full spectrum of Alliance missions. SACT Representative in Europe The SACT Representative in Europe (SACTREPEUR) is located at NATO Headquarters in Brussels, Belgium. As the name indicates, the SACTREPEUR represents SACT at NATO Headquarters, acting as SACT’s representative to the Military Committee and attending all relevant meetings – committee, working group or other. SACTREPEUR has the coordinating authority for all ACT engagements with NATO Headquarters and maintains strong links with the Supreme Allied Commander Europe (SACEUR) through his counterpart - the SACEUR Representative (SACEUREP) - also based at NATO Headquarters. ACT Staff Element Europe The ACT Staff Element Europe (SEE) is co-located with ACO in Mons, Belgium. It deals primarily with defence and resource planning issues, as well as implementation. In doing so, it interacts with different NATO entities: the International Military Staff and the International Staff at NATO Headquarters, Brussels, with ACO, other NATO bodies and agencies and individual Allies. ACT Liaison Office to the Pentagon To help enhance NATO transformation, this office promotes effective links and direct coordination between ACT and the US Joint Staff and other departments in the US military headquarters (Pentagon), located outside Washington D.C. Through strong links with US military entities, the office establishes and maintains working relations with other governmental and non-governmental bodies in and around Washington D.C. Military Partnership Directorate The Military Partnership Directorate (MPD) provides direction, control, co-ordination, support and assessment of military cooperation activities across the Alliance. It directs and oversees all non-NATO country involvement in military partnership programmes, events and activities and coordinates and implements NATO plans and programmes in the area of partnership. The MPD is shared with ACO and is located at SHAPE in Mons, Belgium with a Staff Element at HQ SACT in Norfolk, Virginia. Joint Warfare Centre in Stavanger, Norway The Joint Warfare Centre’s (JWC) main task is to train NATO forces at the operational level to ensure they remain interoperable and fully integrated. Its principal mission is the training of the NATO Response Force (NRF) Headquarters’ elements and NRF Component Headquarters’ elements. The JWC also seeks to improve NATO’s capabilities and interoperability by promoting and conducting NATO’s joint and combined experimentation, analysis and doctrine development processes.3 The JWC assists ACT’s work with new technologies, modelling and simulation. It also conducts training on and works at developing new concepts and doctrine for joint and combined staffs. In addition, it performs collective staff training for partner countries and new NATO members. JWC assists ACO in evaluating joint force training and has formal links to both NATO agencies and national and multinational training centres. Joint Force Training Centre in Bydgoszcz, Poland The Joint Force Training Centre (JFTC) focuses on joint and combined training of NATO forces at the tactical level. It focuses, in particular, on the conduct of tactical training to achieve joint interoperability at key interfaces - a critically important area identified during military combat in Afghanistan. The Centre provides support and expertise in the training of Alliance and partner forces, runs courses, conducts training and provides advice to a variety of audiences. It cooperates with national training centres, including Partnership for Peace (PfP) Training Centres and Centres of Excellence to ensure the application of NATO standards and doctrine in combined and joint fields. As a priority, JFTC provides expertise to help NRF joint and component commanders ensure that each NRF rotation achieves a high level of interoperability, flexibility and extensive training so as to be combat-ready at the beginning of a cycle of duty. Joint Analysis & Lessons Learned Centre in Monsanto, Portugal The main role of the Joint Analysis & Lessons Learned Centre (JALLC) is to reinforce the process of continuous improvement of concepts, doctrine and capabilities within NATO through the transformation process, based on lessons learned from operations, training, exercises and experimentation. As such, JALLC conducts the analysis of real-world military operations, training, exercises and NATO Concept Development and Experimentation collective experiments, and is responsible for establishing and maintaining a lessons learned database. It ensures that key factors and lessons identified are characterised and appropriate action is proposed. The JALLC therefore contributes directly to improving operations through the identification of shortfalls in capabilities by delivering relevant, timely and useable lessons learned products. ACT and other entities There are direct linkages between ACT and entities which are not part of the NATO Command Structure such as NATO educational facilities and agencies. NATO’s educational and training facilities The NATO Defense College At the political-strategic level, the NATO Defense College in Rome, Italy is NATO’s foremost academic institution. It contributes to Alliance objectives by developing its role as a major centre of education, study and research on transatlantic security issues. Founded in 1951, several thousand senior officers, diplomats, and other officials have since passed through its doors. Its main tasks are to help prepare both civilian and military leaders for senior appointments within NATO; conduct outreach activities directed at partner countries; and provide fresh perspectives to NATO decision-makers. It also provides an annual venue, through the Conference of Commandants of Defence Academies, for an exchange of views on best practices across the Alliance and beyond. The NATO School The NATO School in Oberammergau, Germany operates under the auspices of ACT, but also supplies training support to operations. It is NATO’s key operational-level training facility, providing short-term, multidisciplinary individual training tailored to military and civilian personnel from NATO, PfP, Mediterranean Dialogue and global partners. As part of its support to NATO operations, the NATO School has hosted personnel from non-NATO countries such as Afghanistan and Iraq. In addition, it serves as a facilitator for the harmonisation of programmes with the Partnership Training and Education Centres. The NATO Communications and Information Systems School Currently located in Latina, Italy (moving to Oeiras near Lisbon, Portugal in 2016 or 2017), the NATO Communications and Information Systems School (NCISS) is one of the Alliance’s key training institutions. It provides advanced training to civilian and military personnel from NATO and non-NATO countries in the operation and maintenance of the Alliance’s communications and information systems. Like the NATO School, NCISS falls under the guidance of ACT and provides support to NATO-led operations. NATO Maritime Interdiction Operational Training Centre The NATO Maritime Interdiction Operational Training Centre (NMIOTC) in Souda Bay, Greece is a multi-nationally manned facility. It conducts combined training for NATO forces to execute surface, sub-surface and aerial surveillance, and special operations activities in support of maritime interdiction operations. Centres of Excellence The role of these centres is to provide high-quality education and training to the Euro-Atlantic community. They are accredited by NATO, but are funded nationally or multi-nationally outside of the Organization’s command structure. Their relationship with NATO is formalised through memoranda of understanding. The first Centres of Excellence to be fully accredited by NATO were the Joint Air Power Competence Centre in Germany and the Defence Against Terrorism Centre of Excellence in Turkey. Many more have been established since then. Evolution Before 2002, the two Strategic Commands were Allied Command Europe (ACE), established in 1951 and Allied Command Atlantic (ACLANT), created a year later in 1952. ACE, together with ACLANT, were streamlined at the end of the Cold War reducing the NATO Command Structure from 78 headquarters to 20. However, the two overarching Strategic Commanders (SC) were maintained, one for the Atlantic area and one for Europe. During the 2002 Prague Summit, a decision was made to reorganise the NATO Command Structure and make it leaner and more efficient. Additionally, Alliance thinking fundamentally shifted: the NATO Command Structure was to be based on functionality rather than geography. The former Allied Command Europe (ACE) became the Allied Command Operations (ACO), responsible for all Alliance operations, including the maritime operations previously undertaken by Allied Command Atlantic (ACLANT). As such, one strategic command was focused on NATO’s operations -- Allied Command Operations with its headquarters in SHAPE -- and the other on transforming NATO -- Allied Command Transformation (ACT) with its Headquarters SACT. The NATO Command Structure was reviewed once more in June 2011 as part of a wider process of reform, not only to optimise the structure but to include new tasks derived from the 2010 Strategic Concept. The two strategic commands were maintained, as well as the Alliance’s levels of ambition, which is the ability of the Alliance to manage two major joint operations and six small joint operations, if required. This reform principally affected ACO. Where ACT is concerned, apart from developing stronger links with Centres of Excellence and the NATO Force Structure, the only physical change that stemmed from the reform was the move of what was previously known as the NATO Undersea Research Centre (NURC) (now the Centre for Maritime Research and Experimentation in La Spezia, Naples), to the agency structure of the Alliance as an organisational element linked to research. Footnotes It is considered that whereas Article 5 applies to the entire NATO Treaty Area, the NATO Command Structure’s operational area of responsibility does not include the territory of the United States or Canada. This is not meant to imply that the NATO Command Structure should not be able to support the United States and Canada, should the territory of these two Allies be subject to an armed attack, but rather to acknowledge that defensive operations on the territory of these two Allies will be conducted, commanded and controlled in accordance with bilateral arrangements and not under the auspices of the NATO Command Structure. The NATO Force Structure consists of organisational arrangements that bring together the forces placed at the Alliance’s disposal by the member countries, along with their associated command and control structures. These forces are available for NATO operations in accordance with predetermined readiness criteria and with rules of deployment and transfer of authority to NATO command that can vary from country to country. Joint forces are forces from two or more military departments working under a single command and combined forces are forces from different countries working under a single command.
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  • Arms control, disarmament and non-proliferation in NATO
    Arms control, disarmament and non-proliferation in NATO NATO has a long-standing commitment to an active policy in arms control, disarmament and non-proliferation. The Alliance continues to pursue its security objectives through these policies, while at the same time ensuring that its collective defence obligations are met and the full range of its missions fulfilled. Allies participate actively in international arms control, disarmament and non-proliferation treaties and agreements. NATO itself does not belong to any treaty as an entity but it continues to encourage its members, partners and other countries to implement their international obligations fully. NATO’s policies in these fields cover consultation and practical cooperation in a wide range of areas. These include conventional arms control; nuclear policy issues; promoting mine action and combating the spread of small arms and light weapons (SALW), munitions and man-portable air defence systems (MANPADS); preventing the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction (WMD) and developing and harmonizing capabilities to defend against chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear (CBRN) threats. Arms control and disarmament are key elements of the Euro-Atlantic security architecture. Over the past two decades, Allies have significantly contributed to more stable international relations at lower levels of military forces and armaments, through effective and verifiable arms control agreements. At the Bucharest Summit in 2008, Allied leaders took note of a report on raising NATO’s profile in the fields of arms control, disarmament and non-proliferation. As part of a broader response to security issues, they agreed that NATO should continue to contribute to international efforts in these fields and keep these issues under active review. Subsequently these commitments were reaffirmed in the Strasbourg/Kehl Declaration in 2009 and the Lisbon Declaration in 2010.  Definitions While often used together, the terms arms control, disarmament and non-proliferation do not mean the same thing. In fact, experts usually consider them to reflect associated, but different areas in the same discipline or subject. Arms control Arms control is the broadest of the three terms and generally refers to mutually agreed-upon restraints or controls (usually between states) on the research, manufacture, or the levels of and/or locales of deployment of troops and weapons systems. Disarmament Disarmament, often inaccurately used as a synonym for arms control, refers to the act of eliminating or abolishing weapons (particularly offensive arms) either unilaterally (in the hope that one’s example will be followed) or reciprocally. Non-proliferation For the Alliance, “non-proliferation refers to all efforts to prevent proliferation from occurring, or should it occur, to reverse it by any other means than the use of military force.”¹ Non-proliferation usually applies to Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD), which the Alliance defines as a weapon that is "capable of a high order of destruction and of being used in such a manner as to destroy people, infrastructure or other resources on a large scale." WMD Proliferation Attempts made by state or non-state actors to develop, acquire, manufacture, possess, transport, transfer or use nuclear, chemical or biological weapons or devices and their means of delivery or related material, including precursors, without prejudice to the rights and obligations of the States Parties to the following agreements: the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT), the Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production, Stockpiling and Use of Chemical Weapons and on Their Destruction (CWC) and the Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production and Stockpiling of Bacteriological (Biological) and Toxin Weapons and on Their Destruction (BTWC). According to NATO’s Comprehensive, Strategic-Level Policy for Preventing the Proliferation of Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) and Defending Against Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear (CBRN) Threats. The ways in which NATO effectively participates NATO contributes to arms control, disarmament and non-proliferation in many ways: through its policies, its activities and through its member countries. Conventional forces Allies have reduced their conventional forces significantly from Cold War levels. Allies remain committed to the regime of the Conventional Forces in Europe (CFE) Treaty.  As a response to Russia`s unilateral “suspension” of its Treaty obligations in 2007, NATO CFE Allies have ceased implementing certain Treaty obligations vis-à-vis Russia in November 2011, while still continuing to implement fully their obligations with respect to all other CFE states parties. Allies stated that these decisions are fully reversible should Russia return to full implementation. At the Chicago Summit in May 2012, Allies reiterated their commitment to conventional arms control and expressed their determination to preserve, strengthen and modernise the conventional arms control regime in Europe, based on key principles and commitments. Nuclear forces NATO is committed to the goal of creating the conditions for a world without nuclear weapons – but reconfirms that, as long as there are nuclear weapons in the world, NATO will remain a nuclear Alliance. However, it will do so at the lowest possible level and with an appropriate mix of nuclear and conventional forces. The nuclear weapons committed to NATO have been reduced by more than 95 percent since the height of the Cold War. NATO nuclear weapon states have also reduced their nuclear arsenals and ceased production of highly-enriched uranium or plutonium for nuclear weapons. All Allies are parties to the Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty (NPT) and view it as an essential foundation for international peace and security. Armed forces Through its cooperation framework with non-member countries, the Alliance supports defence and security sector reform, emphasizing civilian control of the military, accountability, and restructuring of military forces to lower, affordable and usable levels. Small arms and light weapons (SALW), and mine action Allies are working with non-member countries and other international organizations to support the full implementation of the UN Programme of Action to Prevent, Combat and Eradicate the Illicit Trade in SALW in All its Aspects. NATO also supports mine action activities. All NATO member countries, with the exception of the United States, are party to the 1997 Mine Ban Treaty, often referred to as the Ottawa Convention. NATO’s PfP Trust Fund Policy was initiated in 2000 to assist countries in fulfilling their Ottawa Convention obligations to dispose of stockpiles of anti-personnel landmines. The policy was later expanded to include efforts to implement the UN Programme of Action on SALW. More recently, the Trust Policy has also been expanded to include projects addressing the consequences of defence reform. NATO/PfP Trust Funds may be initiated by a NATO member or partner country to tackle specific, practical issues linked to these areas. They are funded by voluntary contributions from individual NATO allies, partners, contact countries and organizations. Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) “With due respect to the primarily military mission of the Alliance, NATO will work actively to prevent the proliferation of WMD by State and non-State actors, to protect the Alliance from WMD threats should prevention fail, and be prepared for recovery efforts should the Alliance suffer a WMD attack or CBRN event, within its competencies and whenever it bring added value, through a comprehensive political, military and civilian appoach.”² NATO stepped up its activities in this area in 1999 with the launch of the WMD Initiative and the establishment of a WMD Centre at NATO Headquarters the following year. NATO Allies have also taken a comprehensive set of practical initiatives to defend their populations, territory and forces against potential WMD threats. As part of NATO outreach to Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council (EAPC) partners, Mediterranean Dialogue Countries, Istanbul Cooperation Initiative Countries and other partner countries, the NATO Conference on Arms Control, Disarmament and Non-Proliferation is the only annual conference, sponsored by an international organization, dealing with all types and aspects of weapons of mass destruction. Of particular importance is NATO’s outreach to and cooperation with the United Nations (UN), the European Union (EU), other regional organizations and multilateral initiatives that address WMD proliferation. NATO’s Comprehensive, Strategic-Level Policy for Preventing the Proliferation of Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) and Defending Against Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear (CBRN) Threats, Para 4. The evolution of NATO’s contribution to arms control, disarmament and non-proliferation Active policies in arms control, disarmament and non-proliferation have been an inseparable part of NATO’s contribution to security and stability since the Harmel Report of 1967. The Harmel Report This report formed the basis for NATO’s security policy. It outlined two objectives: maintaining a sufficient military capacity to act as an effective and credible deterrent against aggression and other forms of pressure while seeking to improve the East-West relations. The Alliance’s objectives in arms control have been tied to the achievement of both aims. It is therefore important that defence and arms control policies remain in harmony and are mutually reinforcing. The Comprehensive Concept of Arms Control and Disarmament In May 1989, NATO adopted a Comprehensive Concept of Arms Control and Disarmament, which allowed the Alliance to move forward in the sphere of arms control. It addressed the role of arms control in East-West relations, the principles of Alliance security and a number of guiding principles and objectives governing Allied policy in the nuclear, conventional and chemical fields of arms control. It clearly set out the interrelationships between arms control and defence policies and established the overall conceptual framework within which the Alliance sought progress in each area of its arms control agenda. The Alliance’s Strategic Concept NATO’s continued adherence to this policy was reaffirmed in the 2010 Strategic Concept (with regard to nuclear weapons): “It [This Strategic Concept] commits NATO to the goal of creating the conditions for a world without nuclear weapons – but reconfirms that, as long as there are nuclear weapons in the world, NATO will remain a nuclear Alliance.” The Strategic Concept, adopted at the Lisbon Summit in November 19-20 November 2010 continues, on a more general note: “NATO seeks its security at the lowest possible level of forces. Arms control, disarmament and non-proliferation contribute to peace, security and stability, and should ensure undiminished security for all Alliance members. We will continue to play our part in reinforcing arms control and in promoting disarmament of both conventional weapons and weapons of mass destruction, as well as non-proliferation efforts”. Summit declarations Allied leaders have reiterated this commitment in declarations made at previous summit meetings held in Washington (1999), Istanbul (2004), Riga (2006), Bucharest (2008), and in Strasbourg-Kehl (2009).  At the Strasbourg-Kehl Summit NATO’s Heads of State and Government endorsed NATO’s Comprehensive, Strategic-Level Policy for Preventing the Proliferation of Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) and Defending Against Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear (CBRN) Threats. The subject of arms control is also embedded in the 1997 NATO-Russia Founding Act and in the declaration made by Allied and Russian leaders at the 2002 Rome Summit, which set up the NATO-Russia Council. NATO bodies dealing with these issues A number of NATO bodies oversee different aspects of Alliance activities in the fields of arms control, disarmament and non-proliferation. Overall political guidance is provided by the North Atlantic Council, NATO’s highest political decision-making body. More detailed oversight of activities and policy in specific areas is provided by a number of bodies, including the High Level Task Force (HLTF) on Conventional Arms Control, the Nuclear Planning Group High Level Group (NPG/HLG), the Committee on Proliferation (CP) in politico-military as well as in defence format. Within NATO’s cooperative frameworks, the Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council (in particular, the Ad Hoc Working Group on Small Arms and Light Weapons and Mine Action) and the NATO-Russia Council (in particular, the Arms Control, Disarmament, Non-Proliferation (ADN) format) have central roles.
  • Arms control, NATO’s role in conventional -
    Last updated: 08-May-2012 16:41 News
  • Article 5 (''Collective defence'')
    Collective defence
  • Article 4 and the consultation process
    Last updated: 04-Mar-2014 11:40 News
  • Atlantic Treaty Association and Youth Atlantic Treaty Association, The -
    The Atlantic Treaty Association and Youth Atlantic Treaty Association The Atlantic Treaty Association (ATA) is an independent organization designed to support the values enshrined in the North Atlantic Treaty. Created 18 June 1954, the ATA is an umbrella organization for the separate national associations, voluntary organizations and non-governmental organizations that formed to uphold the values of the Alliance after its creation in 1949. Composed of Members, Associates Members and Observer Members, the ATA seeks to inform the public of NATO’s role in international peace and security. To achieve this goal, it holds international seminars and conferences and has launched several initiatives, including the Central and South Eastern European Security Forum, Ukrainian Dialogue and Crisis Management Simulations. The ATA is also an active participant in NATO’s Partnership for Peace (PfP) programme and Mediterranean Dialogue. The ATA has a youth division - the Youth Atlantic Treaty Association (YATA) - which was formed in 1996. Although several of the Members and Associate Members had youth divisions prior to this date, the creation of YATA served to pull these separate divisions together to help coordinate activities. Similarly to the ATA, YATA seeks to inform the younger generation of NATO’s role in international security. The role of the ATA and YATA The ATA The ATA has several aims, including upholding the values set forth in the North Atlantic Treaty, promoting democracy, and educating and informing the public of NATO’s work and responsibilities. It also strives to promote solidarity between the people of the North Atlantic region, those in countries which have signed up to the Partnership for Peace Framework, those participating in the Mediterranean Dialogue and people who are directly concerned with Euro-Atlantic security. In addition to promoting increased solidarity, the ATA also seeks to increase cooperation between various organizations connected with Euro-Atlantic security, such as Member Associations of the ATA, the governments of Member Associations, the European Union, NATO and the NATO Parliamentary Assembly. It also conducts research into NATO’s open door policy, i.e., enlargement and promotes the development of civil society in the Black Sea and Caucasus regions. The ATA encourages discourse and debate with the goal of establishing a solid comprehension of key Alliance issues. It also engages in a dialogue with Mediterranean and Middle Eastern countries that cooperate with the Alliance. In addition to this, it works to develop relations between organizations in different countries by connecting with civil society groups that support the basic principles of the North Atlantic Treaty and aiding in developing relations between its Members. YATA The ATA’s youth division - YATA – was formed in 1996 during the ATA’s General Assembly in Rome. It works in close cooperation with the ATA, supports its activities and shares its primary goals. They include educating and informing the public about issues concerning international security, supporting research into NATO’s role in the world and encouraging young leaders to shape the future of the transatlantic security relationship while promoting its importance. YATA also seeks to encourage cooperation between the youths of NATO member countries and partner countries, and between various international organizations to generate debate about the role of security institutions. Although YATA is officially part of the ATA, it also holds separate activities to achieve its objectives, such as its annual Atlantic Youth Seminars in Denmark (DAYS), Latvia (LAYS) and Portugal (PAYS), as well as Crisis Management Simulations and regional conferences. YATA also works with NATO’s Public Diplomacy Division to organize international conferences and seminars where young leaders from the national YATA chapters are able to meet the NATO Secretary General, other NATO officials and Alliance leaders to discuss and debate transatlantic security issues. Working mechanisms Structure The ATA is composed of three main bodies: the Assembly, the Bureau and the Council, as well as the YATA and the Committee of Patrons. The Assembly The Assembly is the top decision-making body of the ATA. It is comprised of delegates from Member, Associate Member and Observer Member associations. With the exception of Observer Members, each delegate has one vote and resolutions are passed by a simple majority. In addition to the delegates, members of the press and academic community, government and military officials, and international observers may attend the General Assembly meetings, which are held once a year. The Bureau The Bureau includes the President, Vice Presidents, Secretary General, Treasurer, YATA President and the Legal Adviser. Members of the Bureau assist in carrying out the decisions of the Council and the Assembly and aid in policy matters, in addition to developing relationships with other groups such as the NATO Parliamentary Assembly. The Council Bureau members plus up to three delegates from each ATA Member, Associate Member and Observer Member associations make up the Council. ATA allows the Council to take action on its behalf, with the recommendation of the Bureau and the approval of the Assembly. The Council holds two meetings a year: once at NATO Headquarters and once at the General Assembly. The YATA The Youth Atlantic Treaty Association is officially part of the ATA. It serves as the youth division of the ATA and has its own structure, activities and programmes. Similarly to the ATA, it has Members and Associate Members. The Committee of Patrons The Committee of Patrons is comprised of previous ATA Presidents and other people who have served ATA with merit. Officers The President of the ATA is in charge of the general policy of the Association, in addition to acting as its spokesperson. The Assembly, with input from the Council, elects the President for a three-year period. The Secretary General is in charge of day-to-day operations for the ATA, furthering its goals and aims, implementing the decisions of the Assembly, Council and the Bureau, and maintaining relationships with various other institutions. The Assembly, with input from the Council and the Bureau, elects the Secretary General for a three-year renewable period. The Assembly also elects the Treasurer, who is in charge of financial matters, for a renewable three-year period. Membership There are three different types of membership in ATA: Members, Associate Members and Observers. Members The national associations which come from NATO member countries may join the ATA as Members. As Members, they may attend and participate in Bureau, Council and Assembly meetings. They also have full voting rights. Currently Albania, Belgium, Bulgaria, Canada, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Moldova, Montenegro, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Turkey, the United Kingdom and the United States are ATA Members. Associate Members The national associations that make up the Associate Members of ATA come from non-NATO countries that have signed up to PfP. Associate Members may attend and participate in Bureau, Council and Assembly meetings. Once an association’s respective country joins NATO, the association automatically becomes a Member. Much like Members, Associate Members also have full voting rights. Current Associate Members include Armenia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Finland, Georgia, the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia ¹, Russia, Serbia, Sweden and Ukraine. Observer Members Associations from non-NATO countries who have not signed up to PfP, but whose countries either participate in the Mediterranean Dialogue or have a direct interest in Euro-Atlantic security issues can still participate in the ATA under the status of Observer Members. As Observer Members, the national associations may attend and participate in Council and Assembly meetings, but not Bureau meetings. Also, unlike Members and Associate Members, Observer Members have no voting rights. Currently, only Israel is an Observer Member. 1. Turkey recognizes the Republic of Macedonia with its constitutional name. Evolution of the ATA Following the creation of the Alliance in 1949, several separate organizations in NATO member countries formed with the goal of informing the public of NATO’s activities and its role in international relations. Eventually the organizations came together under the umbrella of the Atlantic Treaty Association after its creation on 18 June 1954. Although previously focused on public debate and discussion about NATO’s activities during the Cold War, after the dissolution of the Soviet Union and with it the Warsaw Pact, the ATA’s focus expanded. It now extends beyond the Euro-Atlantic region to include Central and Eastern Europe, as well as the Caucasus and the Mediterranean regions. Several of the ATA’s more recent initiatives, such as the Central and South Eastern European Security Forum, Ukrainian Dialogue and Crisis Management Simulations, highlight this new focus. In addition to being an active participant in NATO’s PfP programme and the Mediterranean Dialogue, the ATA also hosts several international seminars and conferences each year in order to further its objectives. 1. Turkey recognises the Republic of Macedonia with its constitutional name.
  • Auditors for NATO (IBAN), International Board of -
    International Board of Auditors for NATO (IBAN) The International Board of Auditors for NATO (IBAN) is the independent, external audit body of NATO. Its main mandate is to provide the North Atlantic Council and the governments of NATO member countries with assurance that common funds have been properly used for the settlement of authorised expenditure. Guided by three core values - independence, integrity and professionalism - the IBAN strives to be the respected voice of accountability within NATO.  Tasks and responsibilities The IBAN is responsible for auditing the expenditure incurred by NATO.  The IBAN conducts several types of audits: Financial audits of NATO bodies result in an audit opinion on the presentation of the financial statements and on the compliance with budgetary authorisations and applicable regulations. Performance audits are carried out to evaluate the economy, efficiency and effectiveness of the activities and operations of NATO bodies. NATO Security Investment Programme (NSIP) audits cover the expenditure made by NATO bodies and member countries under the NISP.  The audit results in the certification of the final amount charged to NATO. Working mechanisms The IBAN is composed of six Board Members, appointed by Council for a four-year, non-renewable term.  Board Members are usually members of their respective national audit institution or government officials with audit experience.  They have independent status and report only to the Council. The Chairman of the Board is appointed by the Council for a two-year term.  The Board is assisted by auditors and secretarial staff with NATO International Staff status. IBAN Board Members (from left to right) Mr Jan Vylita (Czech Republic), Mr Marius Winters (The Netherlands), Dr Charilaos Charisis (Chairman, Greece), Mrs Kirsten Astrup (Norway), Mr Salih Tanrikulu (Turkey), Mr Marcus Popplewell (United Kingdom)
  • Australia, NATO cooperation with -
    NATO cooperation with Australia Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard and NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen (October 2010). Over recent years, NATO has developed relations with a range of countries beyond the Euro-Atlantic area. Australia is counted among these countries, which are referred to as “partners across the globe”. Building on dialogue and cooperation that has been developed since 2005, NATO and Australia signalled their commitment to strengthen cooperation in a joint political declaration in June 2012. This was followed up with the signature of an Individual Partnership and Cooperation Programme in February 2013. The Strategic Concept adopted at the 2010 Lisbon Summit paved the way for a more flexible partnership policy offering all partners the same basis of cooperation and dialogue. The establishment of a single Partnership Cooperation Menu open to all NATO partners enabled Australia to access a wide range of cooperation activities with the Alliance and to formalise its relations with NATO through the development of an Individual Partnership and Cooperation Programme tailored to the country’s interests. NATO and Australia have underlined their shared interest in forging a closer strategic partnership. Beyond cooperation on global challenges, the two sides also agree to work closely on crisis and conflict management, post-conflict situations, reconstruction and facilitating humanitarian assistance and disaster relief. Practical cooperation Australia is making a valuable and significant contribution to the NATO-led ISAF mission to stabilise Afghanistan. With some 1100 Australian Defence Force personnel deployed, Australia is one of the largest non-NATO contributors of troops to ISAF. As part of a Provincial Reconstruction Team (PRT) in Uruzgan province in southern Afghanistan, Australian personnel have provided security and deliver reconstruction and community-based projects. Additionally, Australia’s Special Operations Task Group has been operating in direct support of ISAF elements in Uruzgan province. In addition to its contribution to NATO-led operations in Afghanistan and the former Yugoslavia, Australia and NATO have also worked together on several projects. In 2010, Australia contributed to a NATO Trust Fund project designed to clear unexploded ordinances in Saloglu, Azerbaijan. Australia is also the leading contributor to the Afghan National Army Trust Fund, having pledged €150 million to the fund. The Australian navy is also currently cooperating with NATO’s Counter-Piracy Task Force to fight piracy off the coast of Somalia as part of Operation Ocean Shield. Dialogue and consultation To support cooperation, Australia designated its Ambassador in Brussels as its representative to NATO.  It also appointed a defence attaché in Brussels and a military representative to NATO. NATO and Australia have also concluded an agreement on the protection of classified information. Cooperation is also underpinned by regular high-level political dialogue. In 2005, the then NATO Secretary General visited Australia. Then Australian Foreign Minister Alexander Downer addressed the North Atlantic Council in 2005 and 2006. Former Foreign Minister Stephen Smith met the NATO Secretary General several times and also subsequently in his capacity as Defence Minister.  He addressed the North Atlantic Council in December 2008. Former Prime Minister Kevin Rudd also participated in the NATO summit meeting in Bucharest in April 2008. As foreign minister, he visited NATO on several occasions, and addressed the North Atlantic Council in January 2012.  His successor as foreign minister, Bob Carr, had his first meeting with the Secretary General in April the same year. Current Prime Minister Julia Gillard made her first trip to NATO in October 2010 to discuss ISAF’s efforts in Afghanistan with NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen. She and Defence Minister Stephen Smith also participated in the November 2010 Lisbon Summit, and both were present at the Chicago Summit in May 2012. NATO’s Secretary General visited Australia in June 2012 to thank the country for its operational support and to discuss how to strengthen further the security partnership. Video Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott announces key milestone in Afghanistan 29 Oct. 2013 newYTPlayer('MReS6DMZ59A','77473',530,300); At a ceremony in Uruzgan Province in Afghanistan, Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott announced the closure of the Australian-lead Provincial Reconstruction Team or PRT in Uruzgan, marking an important milestone in the Australian mission in Afghanistan. Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott announces key milestone in Afghanistan 29 Oct. 2013 At a ceremony in Uruzgan Province in Afghanistan, Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott announced the closure of the Australian-lead Provincial Reconstruction Team or PRT in Uruzgan, marking an important milestone in the Australian mission in Afghanistan. Building Afghanistan`s Future Generation 26 Feb. 2013 For Afghan kids living in Uruzgan this Australian-led trade school will help give them the skills to rebuild their nation. Students at the school are keen to use their new-found trade skills to help other people in the community and Afghanistan as a whole Aussie Team Plays Afghan Rules 21 Feb. 2013 The Australian and American Commanders at Task Force Uruzgan say the Afghan Army must build upon on its own sustainable procedures and draw from the knowledge of Afghan commanders. It should not try to be a mirror of the coalition. NATO and Australia – Partners in Security 13 Jun. 2012 Speech by NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen at the National Press Club, Canberra, Australia Visiting a valued partner 13 Jun. 2012 Blog by NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen Afghan students learn skills for life in Uruzgan 20 Dec. 2011 Afghan boys learn the basics of plumbing, carpentry and painting at the Trade Training school in Tarin Kowt, capital of Uruzgan Province. The school is backed by the Provincial Reconstruction Team in Uruzgan and run by the Australian Defense Forces. Mentoring Afghan Logistics Specialists 06 Dec. 2011 ISAF Mentoring team (Slovaks, Australians, US) trains Afghans in Combat Service Support Battalion (Logistics). Train Medics, Mechanics, Transport and Communication Teams in Tarin Kowt, Uruzgan Press point with the NATO Secretary General and the Prime Minister of Australia 04 Oct. 2010 On 4th October 2010 NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen welcomed in the Alliance HQ in Brussels the Prime Minister of Australia Julia Gillard. Australians bring winter sun 07 Jan. 2010 Australian forces are making the harsh Afghan winters a bit more bearable for orphans in Kabul. Australian soldiers in Sorkh Mugarb 26 Jun. 2009 Sorkh Mugarb is undergoing a complete renovation by Australian ISAF forces. The town, in Uruzgan province, has just had a new bazaar built. Teaching the trade in Uruzgan 24 Jun. 2009 Australian soldiers run a trade training school in Tarin Kowt, to teach local Afghans craft skills. Intelligent Officers 27 May. 2009 This story looks at how Australian mentors are helping Afghan officers improve their intelligence-gathering skills. Mentoring the Men 26 May. 2009 This story looks at the challenges and progress for an Australian Operational Mentoring Liaison Team (OMLT) working with the Afghan National Army (ANA). A New Force 25 Aug. 2009 This story looks at the overall work of the new Mentoring and Reconstruction Task Force (MRTF), provided by the Australian contingent in Afghanistan. Money in the Bank 25 May. 2009 In Afghanistan, the Australians have developed a new payment system for Afghan soldiers, ensuring they have money in the bank.
  • Austria, NATO’s relations with
    NATO’s relations with Austria NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen and the President of Austria, Heinz Fischer (June 2011) NATO-Austria relations are conducted through the Partnership for Peace framework, which Austria joined in 1995. NATO and Austria actively cooperate in peace support operations, and have developed practical cooperation in a range of areas. NATO highly values its relations with Austria. The Allies view Austria as an effective partner and contributor to international security, which shares key values such as the promotion of international security, democracy and human rights. Austria selects areas of practical cooperation with NATO that match joint objectives. An important area of cooperation is the country’s support for NATO-led operations. Austria has worked alongside the Allies in security and peacekeeping operations in Bosnia and Herzegovina, and currently has personnel deployed in Afghanistan and Kosovo. Framework for cooperation NATO and Austria detail areas of cooperation and timelines in Austria’s Individual Partnership Programme (IPP) which is jointly agreed for a two-year period. Key areas include security and peacekeeping cooperation, humanitarian and disaster relief, and search and rescue operations. The IPP is soon to be replaced by an Individual Partnership and Cooperation Programme (IPCP) in accordance with NATO’s new partnership policy. Austria runs the Centre for Operations Preparation, a Partnership Training and Education Centre. It also leads the Balkans Regional Working Group in the framework of the PfP Consortium of Defense Academies and Security Studies Institutes (a voluntary association which works “in the spirit of PfP”, funded by Austria, Germany, Switzerland and the United States). Key areas of cooperation Security cooperation In 1996, Austrian forces joined those of NATO Allies in securing the peace negotiated in the Dayton agreement for Bosnia and Herzegovina. The country contributed a battalion to the NATO-led peacekeeping forces there until 2001. Austria is currently contributing a mechanized company and support units to the NATO-led peacekeeping force in Kosovo (KFOR), amounting to over 400 troops. Austria took command of KFOR’s Multinational Task Force South (MNTF-S) in early 2008. Austrian forces joined the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in Afghanistan in 2002, providing expertise and logistical support. Throughout 2005, Austria deployed troops to work alongside the German-led Provincial Reconstruction Team (PRT) in Kunduz province to provide security for the Afghan parliamentary elections. Austria has made a number of units available for potential PfP operations. In each case, deployment must be authorized by the Austrian Council of Ministers and approved by the Main Committee of the Austrian Parliament. Defence and security sector reform Participating in peacekeeping and peace support operations alongside NATO Allies has reinforced Austria’s own process of military transformation. The PfP Planning and Review Process (PARP) influences and reinforces Austrian planning activities. Through PARP, Austria has declared an increasing number of forces and capabilities as potentially available for NATO-led operations. Austria’s ability to take part in peace support operations is further enhanced by its participation in the Operational Capabilities Concept (OCC) process. The Allies and other partners also benefit from Austrian expertise. The country is contributing to NATO’s programme of support for security-sector reform activities, with a special emphasis on the Balkan region. Austria has contributed to Trust Fund projects in other Partner countries. Along with individual Allies and Partners, Austria has made contributions to voluntary trust funds to support, for example, the destruction of mines and/or munitions in Albania, Kazakhstan, Montenegro, Serbia and Ukraine. Civil emergency planning Civil emergency planning is a major area of cooperation. The aim is for Austria to be able to cooperate with NATO Allies in providing mutual support in dealing with the consequences of major accidents or disasters in the Euro-Atlantic area. This could include dealing with the consequences of incidents involving chemical, biological, radiological or nuclear agents, as well as humanitarian disaster relief operations. Science and environment Under the NATO Science for Peace and Security (SPS) Programme, scientists from Austria have participated in numerous advanced research workshops and seminars on a range of topics. Since 2005, Austrian personnel have participated in over 20 activities. Topics have included preparedness against bio-terrorism, strengthening influenza pandemic preparedness and emerging biological threats. Public information In every partner country an embassy of one of the NATO member states serves as a contact point and operates as a channel for disseminating information about the role and policies of the Alliance. The current NATO Contact Point Embassy in Austria is the embassy of Croatia. Evolution in milestones 1995 Austria signs the Partnership for Peace Framework Document. 1996 Austria joins the PfP Planning and Review Process (PARP)   Austria deploys peacekeepers to the NATO-led peacekeeping force in Bosnia and Herzegovina. 1997 Austria opens a diplomatic mission at NATO Headquarters.          1999 Austrian forces participate in the NATO-led peacekeeping force in Kosovo, KFOR. 2002 H.E. Dr Thomas Klestil, the President of Austria, meets NATO Secretary General Lord Robertson at NATO HQ on 3 July to exchange views on key issues in international security. Austrian forces join the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in Afghanistan. 2004 During a visit to Vienna on 18 November, NATO Secretary General Jaap de Hoop Scheffer praised Austria for its contribution to NATO’s missions and Partnership for Peace programme. 2005 Austria has increased the units declared for NATO/PfP missions. In the future they will consist of a framework brigade. 2008 Austria takes command of KFOR’s Multinational Task Force South (MNTF-S). 2011 NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen visits Vienna on 30 June 2011 and met President Heinz Fischer, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Vice-Chancellor Michael Spindelegger and Minister of Defence Norbert Darabos. They discussed the partnership between NATO and Austria, the situation in the western Balkans and the NATO-led operations in Libya and Afghanistan. Rasmussen expressed strong appreciation for Austria’s substantial contribution to the NATO-led mission in Kosovo and for its constructive role in the western Balkans and its firm commitment to the region.
  • AWACS: NATO’s 'Eye In The Sky'
    AWACS: NATO’s 'Eye In The Sky' NATO operates a fleet of Boeing E-3A 'Sentry' Airborne Warning & Control System (AWACS) aircraft, which provide the Alliance with an immediately available airborne command and control (C2), air and maritime surveillance and battlespace management capability. NATO Air Base (NAB) Geilenkirchen, Germany, is home to 17 E-3A aircraft. The NE-3A is a modified Boeing 707 equipped with long-range radar and passive sensors capable of detecting air and surface contacts over large distances. The plot-extracted track data can be transmitted directly from the aircraft to other users on land, at sea or in the air. The NATO Airborne Early Warning and Control Force (NAEW&C Force) is one of the few military assets that is actually owned and operated by NATO. It is the Alliance’s largest collaborative venture and is an example of what NATO member countries, in this case 17 nations, can achieve by pooling resources and working together in a truly multinational environment. Role and responsibilities The NAEW&C Force performs a unique and valuable role for the Alliance by conducting a wide range of missions such as air policing, counter-terrorism, consequence management, non-combatant evacuation operations (NEO), embargo, initial entry, crisis response and demonstrative force operations. In recent years, the force has been increasingly deployed on complex and demanding tactical missions, including among numerous others: support to maritime operations; close air support (CAS); airspace management; combat search and rescue (CSAR); disaster relief; and counter-piracy. Critical asset for crisis management Since it commenced flight operations in 1982, the NAEW&C Force has proven to be a key asset in crisis-management and peace-support operations. Following the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait in 1990, aircraft from the NATO E-3A Component (NAB Geilenkirchen) deployed to eastern Turkey to help reinforce NATO’s southern flank during the war. Operation Anchor Guard included monitoring air and sea traffic in the eastern Mediterranean and providing airborne surveillance along the Iraqi-Turkish border. The mission was conducted from August 1990 to March 1991. For most of the 1990s, aircraft from both the NATO and United Kingdom's AEW&C fleets operated extensively in the Balkans, supporting UN resolutions and Alliance missions in Bosnia and Herzegovina and Kosovo during Operations Deliberate Force and Allied Force. AWACS aircraft from the French Armée de l'Air and the US Air Force also helped achieve the objectives of these missions. In early 2001, the Force also supported NATO’s defensive deployment to southeastern Turkey during Operation Display Deterrence. In the wake of the 9/11 terrorist attacks in the United States in 2001, NATO E-3A aircraft were deployed to the mainland US to help defend North America against further attacks during Operation Eagle Assist. This represented the first time in Alliance history that NATO assets were deployed in support of the defence of one of its member nations. Since 2007, the NAEW&C Force has been used successfully in support of NATO's counter-terrorism activities in the Mediterranean Sea during Operation Active Endeavour and for numerous other high-visibility events. Since January 2011, aircraft from NAB Geilenkirchen has been deploying to Afghanistan to support Commander ISAF by providing air surveillance coverage as part of Operation Afghan Assist. During Operation Unified Protector, the NAEW&C Force also performed the crucial function of commanding and controlling all Alliance air assets operating over Libya. This included the issuing of real-time tactical orders and taskings to NATO fighter aircraft, surveillance and reconnaissance aircraft, air-to-air refuellers or unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV). NATO E-3A aircraft also supported the Alliance ships and submarines enforcing the maritime arms embargo against Libya by providing an aerial maritime surveillance capability. Protecting NATO populations As a consequence of the 9/11 attacks, NATO governments have been able to request the air surveillance and control capability offered by the NAEW&C Force to assist with security for major public occasions. These high-visibility events have included the 2004 Summer Olympic Games in Athens, the 2006 World Cup Football Championship, the 2012 European Football Championship in Poland as well as important meetings held by other international organisations such as the Nobel Price ceremony in 2010. Further, the NAEW&C fleets have consistently provided air support to meetings of Alliance heads of state, governmental and non-governmental meetings and NATO summits. Working Mechanism Multi-nationality is the key characteristic of the NAEW&C Programme Management Organisation (NAPMO). Currently, the 16 full member nations are: Belgium, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Luxembourg, The Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Spain, Turkey and the United States. The United Kingdom exercises limited participation as a NAPMO member; but her fleet of E-3D aircraft is an integral part of the NAEW&C Force. France has an observer role and maintains continual coordination to ensure her E-3F aircraft remain interoperable with the other E-3 fleets. France also often assists in coordinated operations with the NAEW&C Force. The NAEW&C Force Command Headquarters is co-located with Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe (SHAPE) in Mons, Belgium, and exercises operational control over the force, consisting of two operational components: the E-3A Component based at NAB Geilenkirchen operates the 17 NATO-owned NE-3A aircraft; the squadrons are manned by integrated international crews from 16 nations; and the E-3D Component based at RAF Waddington, Lincolnshire, United Kingdom, operating their six Boeing E-3D aircraft; the Component is manned by RAF personnel only; The Force also maintains three forward operating bases (FOBs) at Konya in Turkey, Aktion in Greece, Trapani in Italy, and a forward operating location (FOL) at Oerland, Norway. The AWACS programme is managed on a day-to-day basis on behalf of the NAPMO nations by the NAEW&C Programme Management Agency (NAPMA), which is located at Brunssum in The Netherlands. The agency is staffed by military officers seconded to the agency and by civilian officials from the nations participating in the programme. How the NAEW&C Force works All AWACS aircraft are similar but have subtle differences as they undergo continuous modernisation. The standard crew for an NE-3A aircraft modified under the NATO Mid-Term (NMT) Programme is 16, while the original E-3D require a standard crew of 18. Whatever the variant, the flight and mission crews are highly-trained men and women whose expertise covers all areas of flight operations including battle space management, weapons control, surveillance control, data link management and the technical aspects of communications, data systems and mission radar. Under normal circumstances, the aircraft can operate for up to 11 hours (and longer with air-to-air refueling) at 30,000 feet (9,150 metres). The active surveillance sensors are located in the radar dome (rotodome) which makes the NE-3A such a uniquely recognisable aircraft. This structure rotates once every ten seconds and provides the NE-3A with a 360-degree radar coverage that can detect aircraft out to a distance in excess of 215 nautical miles (400 kilometres). One aircraft flying at 30,000 feet has a surveillance area coverage of approximately 120,463 square miles (312,000 square kilometres) and three aircraft operating in overlapping, coordinated orbits can provide unbroken radar coverage of the whole of Central Europe. The aircraft is able to track and identify potentially hostile aircraft operating at low altitudes, as well as provide fighter control of Allied aircraft. It can simultaneously track and identify maritime contacts, and provide coordination support to Allied surface forces. Evolution During the 1960s, it became clear that military aircraft could no longer fly high enough to avoid surface-to-air missiles. To survive in an increasingly lethal air defence environment, aircraft were forced down to levels little higher than tree-top. By the 1970s, the requirement to detect high speed combat aircraft, with low level penetration capability, made it necessary to augment NATO’s system of ground-based radars with new effective means. The NATO military authorities determined that an Airborne Early Warning (AEW) capability would provide the key to meeting the challenge. The operational requirement for the NATO AEW system stressed the need to detect small cross-section, high speed intruder aircraft at long range. The need to detect maritime surface targets was also specified to account for the geographical regions in which the AEW aircraft would be required to operate. The inherent mobility and flexibility of the system, especially for control function, were also foreseen by NATO planners as providing air, maritime, and land force commanders with an enhanced Command and Control (C2) capability. The creation of a NATO AEW Force was therefore designed to make a significant contribution to the Alliance’s deterrent posture. In December 1978, the NATO Defence Planning Committee approved the joint acquisition of 18 aircraft based on the US Air Force (USAF) Airborne Warning and Control System (AWACS) to be operated as an Alliance-owned Airborne Early Warning system. In addition to the delivery of the 18 E-3A aircraft between February 1982 and May 1985, the NAEW&C programme included the upgrade of 40 NATO Air Defence Ground Environment (NADGE) sites and the establishment of a Main Operating Base (MOB) at Geilenkirchen, Germany, along with three Forward Operating Bases (FOB) and a Forward Operating Location. Transformation Originally designed as an elevated radar platform, the NATO E-3A has constantly evolved to address the realities of geopolitical change and NATO’s new mission over the last 30 years. In emphasizing the control aspect of the AEW&C, the NE-3A has become an essential part of Air Battle Management and has continued to remain operationally relevant through successive modernisation programmes involving state-of-the-art engineering and manufacturing developments. From the Initial NAEW&C Acquisition Programme through the Near-Term Programme and on through the Mid-Term Programme, the NAPMO Nations have collectively spent / committed, for acquisition and follow-on support, in excess of US$ 6.8 Billion; prohibitively expensive for any single Nation, but realisable through the collective contribution of the NAPMO Nations. Today NATO is moving forward with a new and improved method of planning and conducting operations. To support the dynamic NATO transformation process, NAPMO is committed to adopt new business approaches and enter into cooperative programmes to expedite the fielding of operational capabilities in response to emerging requirement and at a cost that takes into consideration today’s economic realities. In that sense, efforts are underway for the next phase of NAEW&C enhancements, which will allow the Force to continue fulfilling its operational mandate well into the future. To be completed by 2018, Follow-Up (FUP) Modernization projects are primarily aimed at enhancing the Identification system (Mode5 / Enhanced Mode S) and replacing the analogue cockpit technology (Cockpit Modernisation - CNS/ATM) with a digital environment. Studies are also being pursued to integrate Internet Protocol (IP) communications. Keeping an eye on the ball 09 Jun. 2012 newYTPlayer('cQgQZPN_p4g','87092',530,300); NATO’s “Eye in the Sky” or Airborne Warning & Control System (AWACS) plays an important role in the security of the Euro 2012 Football Tournament over the next three weeks. Keeping an eye on the ball 09 Jun. 2012 NATO’s “Eye in the Sky” or Airborne Warning & Control System (AWACS) plays an important role in the security of the Euro 2012 Football Tournament over the next three weeks. Extending Air Surveillance in Mediterranean 14 Mar. 2011 AWACS crews are taking off from Germany to join in Sicily their colleauges in charge of surveillance for Operation Active Endeavour. NAC extended the air surveillance to 24/7. AWACS E-3A Component 02 Apr. 2007 AWACS E-3A Component, Geilenkirchen AB, Germany
  • Azerbaijan, NATO’s relations with -
    NATO’s relations with Azerbaijan NATO and Azerbaijan actively cooperate on democratic, institutional and defence reforms, and have developed practical cooperation in many other areas. Azerbaijan’s Individual Partnership Action Plan (IPAP) lays out the programme of cooperation between Azerbaijan and NATO. Azerbaijan is seeking to achieve Euro-Atlantic standards and to draw closer to Euro-Atlantic institutions. Consequently, support to security sector reform and democratic institution building are key elements of NATO-Azerbaijan cooperation. Another important area of cooperation is the country’s support for NATO-led operations. Azerbaijan currently contributes troops to the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in Afghanistan. In the past, it also actively supported the operation in Kosovo. Framework for cooperation Cooperative activities, reform plans and political dialogue processes are detailed in Azerbaijan’s Individual Partnership Action Plan (IPAP), which is jointly agreed for a two-year period. Key areas of cooperation include good governance and democratic control of the defence and security sector, defence planning and budgeting and the reorganization of the armed forces structure using NATO standards. Beyond supporting reform, another key objective of NATO’s cooperation with Azerbaijan is to develop the ability of the country’s forces to work together with forces from NATO countries. Azerbaijan also cooperates with NATO and Partner countries in a wide range of other areas through the Partnership for Peace (PfP), the Planning and Review Process (PARP) and the Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council (EAPC). Key areas of cooperation Security cooperation Thanks to regular participation in PfP activities, Azerbaijan has been able to contribute actively to Euro-Atlantic security by supporting NATO-led peace-support operations. From 1999 to 2008, troops from Azerbaijan were part of the NATO-led operation in Kosovo (KFOR). Azerbaijan actively supports the ISAF operation in Afghanistan since 2002, where it has gradually increased its forces to about 95 personnel. An infantry company, deminers, medical assistant and staff officers from Azerbaijan are serving alongside NATO forces, as part of a Turkish contingent, in the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in Afghanistan. Azerbaijan also contributes to the NATO-ANA (Afghan National Army) Trust Fund. Azerbaijan has declared a number of units available for PfP activities, on a case by case basis. These include infantry units, combat support and combat service support units and two medium transport helicopters. The Internal Troops, in cooperation with NATO, are also developing a police support unit to be made available for NATO-led operations. Azerbaijan contributes to the fight against terrorism through its participation in the Partnership Action Plan on Terrorism (PAP-T). This includes sharing intelligence and analysis with NATO, and cooperating with the Allies on enhancing national counter-terrorist training capabilities and improving border and infrastructure security. Information exchange through NATO’s terrorist threat intelligence unit is being developed. Azerbaijan is also working to establish an international Anti-Terrorism Training Centre at the Academy of the Ministry of National Security. Azerbaijan aims to improve maritime security and its capabilities to reduce illegal activities in the Caspian Sea in cooperation with some NATO member countries and some regional Partner countries. NATO nations also support efforts to improve border security. NATO has no direct role in negotiations aimed at resolving the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, which are being conducted in the framework of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) Minsk Group. However, NATO takes an interest in this process and encourages all sides to continue their efforts aimed at a peaceful resolution of the conflict. Peaceful resolution of conflicts is a core value of NATO, and is one of the core commitments that all Partner countries commit to when joining the Partnership for Peace (PfP). Defence and security sector cooperation Defence and security sector reforms are crucial to the development of Azerbaijan and its goal of achieving Euro-Atlantic standards as well as its increasing Euro-Atlantic cooperation. This is an area in which NATO and individual Allies have considerable expertise which Azerbaijan can draw upon. A key priority is working to strengthen democratic and civilian control over the armed forces. NATO is also supportive of the wider democratic and institutional reform process underway in Azerbaijan. With NATO advice, Azerbaijan has developed strategic documents on defence and security, which will support and provide guidance during the conduct of the Strategic Defence Review. Consultations are also underway on the necessary steps for improving other areas of defence planning and budgeting. NATO and individual Allies continue to assist Azerbaijan in developing selected units so they are interoperable with those of the Allies. Azerbaijan’s participation in the PfP Planning and Review Process (PARP), since 1997, has been instrumental in the development of the Peacekeeping Battalion and a detachment of two helicopters is now supporting the development of the Mobile Battalion , which would potentially be available for the full spectrum of NATO operations. Consultations are ongoing on Azerbaijan’s military education structures and methods, since the Ministry of Defence is interested in adapting these to meet NATO standards. Within and alongside the PARP process, NATO and Azerbaijan are cooperating on reorganizing units in accordance with NATO standards and on improving the command and control capabilities of each of the armed services and improving logistics. NATO and Azerbaijan continue to cooperate on the demilitarisation of unexploded ordnance. In 1991, a major explosion at a former Soviet munitions facility in the Agstafa region spread unexploded ordnance over a large area. With technical and financial support from NATO, more than 5.68 million square meters of the contaminated area was cleared, on both the surface and in the subsurface. In addition to this, some 640 000 pieces of unexploded ordnance were cleared. The five-and-a-half-year Trust Fund project was completed in June 2011. A further project of this kind was launched in 2012 to clear unexploded ordnance from a former Soviet live firing range in the Jeyranchel region. The project will focus on clearing a 19 square kilometre section of the area over a 28-month period. Much like the previous Trust Fund project, NAMSA is directing the project, with Azerbaijani National Agency for Mine Action (ANAMA) working on the ground as the executing agency. Civil emergency planning In cooperation with NATO and through participation in activities organised by NATO’s Euro-Atlantic Disaster Response Coordination Centre (EADRCC), Azerbaijan is developing its national civil emergency and disaster-management capabilities. Azerbaijan’s special search-and-rescue platoon has participated in several exercises organised by the EADRCC. In addition, Civil Emergency Planning experts from NATO and NATO nations are providing advice to the Azerbaijani Ministry of Emergency Situations on a number of issues, including organisational issues, and CBRN defence. Azerbaijan is developing two units (search and rescue and CBRN) to be on high readiness and ready to be deployed on disaster relief operations. Science and environment Under the Science for Peace and Security (SPS) Programme, Azerbaijan has received grant awards for about 30 cooperative projects and has had leading roles in 87 activities, with even more joining various cooperative activities as participants and key speakers. Projects include collaboration on improving trans-boundary water quality, protecting drinking water supply from terrorism, identifying the earthquake vulnerability of segments of two important pipelines running through Azerbaijan, and mitigating the effects of earthquakes in the Caucasus region by improving seismic hazard and risk. In addition, Azeri and international experts participated in an SPS training course entitled “Crisis Management National Capacity Building: an Essential Element in the Fight against Terrorism” in June 2009 in Baku, Azerbaijan. Azerbaijan also participated in the Virtual Silk Highway project, which aims to increase internet access for academic and research communities in countries of the Caucasus and Central Asia through a satellite-based network. NATO has also supported the conversion of stocks of mélange – a highly toxic and corrosive rocket fuel oxidizer, formerly used by Warsaw Pact Countries – into a harmless chemical. In response to a request from Azerbaijan for assistance, NATO sent a transportable conversion plant, which was officially inaugurated in July 2006. This project was successfully concluded in 2008. Public information Another key area of cooperation is to improve access to information and increasing public awareness of NATO and the benefits of NATO-Azerbaijan cooperation. Since 2003, NATO has been co-sponsoring a summer school in Baku. Programmes developed year on year, leading to the establishment of the NATO International School in Azerbaijan (NISA) in 2005. Seminar topics have included transatlantic energy security, regional security and financial security issues. NISA continues to be an active and productive forum on international security issues for students from Azerbaijan and beyond, organizing NATO-related conferences and workshops twice a year. The Diplomatic Academy of Azerbaijan (ADA) is also very active in promoting cooperation with NATO. Visits to NATO Headquarters of opinion formers from Azerbaijan take place on an annual basis. In every partner country an embassy of one of the NATO member states serves as a contact point and operates as a channel for disseminating information about the role and policies of the Alliance. The current NATO Contact Point Embassy in Azerbaijan is the embassy of Romania.   Evolution in milestones 1992 Azerbaijan joins the newly created North Atlantic Cooperation Council, renamed the Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council in 1997. 1994 Azerbaijan joins the Partnership for Peace (PfP), a programme aimed at increasing security and defence cooperation between NATO and individual Partner countries.  1997 Azerbaijan joins the PfP Planning and Review Process. 1999 Azerbaijan sends a unit to support the NATO-led peacekeeping operation in Kosovo. 2001 Azerbaijan hosts a multinational PfP military training exercise “Cooperative Determination 2001”. 2002 Azerbaijan sends a unit to support the NATO-led force in Afghanistan. 2003 Azerbaijan is connected to the Virtual Silk Highway. 2004 At the Istanbul Summit, Allied leaders place special focus on the Caucasus – a special NATO representative and a liaison officer are assigned to the region.   President Aliyev presents Azerbaijan’s first Individual Partnership Action Plan (IPAP) paper to NATO in Brussels. 2005 Azerbaijan begins its first IPAP with NATO. 2006 The Euro-Atlantic Centre (NATO information centre) is officially opened in Baku.   A NATO PfP Trust Fund project is launched to clear unexploded ordnances from a former military base at Saloglu, Agstafa district.   President of Azerbaijan, Ilham Aliyev, visits NATO Headquarters. 2008 The Mélange Project is successfully concluded.   Azerbaijan and NATO agree the second IPAP document.   Azerbaijan withdraws troops from KFOR. The Azerbaijani military contingent in Afghanistan is increased to about 45 personnel. 2009 President Aliyev visits NATO HQ and meets with the North Atlantic Council   The Azerbaijani military contingent in Afghanistan is doubled to about 90 personnel. 2010 Preparation of third Individual Partnership Action Plan (IPAP) with NATO   The Minister of Foreign Affairs of Azerbaijan, Mr. Elmar Mammadyarov, visits NATO Headquarters. 2011 The five-and-a-half-year SPS project to clear unexploded ordinance is completed in June.   NATO and Azerbaijan agree their third Individual Partnership Action Plan. 2012 The President of Azerbaijan, Ilham Aliyev, visits NATO Headquarters.   The President of Azerbaijan attends a meeting at NATO’s Summit in Chicago in May, joining counterparts from countries that are supporting the NATO-led stabilization mission in Afghanistan.   In September, NATO Secretary General visits Azerbaijan.